Lone Oak Students Perform Before Symphony Tonight
By Bill Hughes
PADUCAH, KY - The Lone Oak Middle School 8th Grade band will perform tonight at Paducah's Carson Center, just before the Paducah Symphony Orchestra.
The school was selected from among applicants who submitted a live, unedited recording of a performance from last July to a panel of judges for ranking. Educators didn't know who they were listening to, and ranked the performances.
Since last year's students were in the recording, but this year's members are performing, the program really is being recognized for excellence over several years. But Boyd deflects praise of her leadership, preferring to talk about her students.
"It's a body of work. You know, it's a program that really is consistently performing well, and striving for excellence. We have to be able to consistently rise the the same occasion year after year," Boyd said.
The band had their last pre-show rehearsal after school Thursday, and will perform at the Carson Center Saturday at 7:30 pm.
Sixty-eight students will be performing, with a few 7th-graders added to fill out some instrument sections.
Band Director Kara Boyd said they received the invitation from the Symphony in December, and students didn't react much when they were told, but now they are getting more excited and nervous.
Boyd said, "The closer we get to it, and we're starting to give them details about things, they're like, 'You mean, in the Carson Center, on the stage?' So, I think they're surprised to be able to do it, but I think it's going to end up being a great performance for us."
Boyd said the invitation was the Symphony's way of honoring the band, who was chosen last summer to perform next Thursday at the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) Development Conference in Louisville. They are one of only three middle school bands chosen to perform, and the first ever from McCracken County.
Boyd said one student entered the band room today amd remembered it was Thursday. With eyes as big as saucers, she asked, "You mean we're in Louisville, performing next Thursday?"
The band will do several newly-published pieces of music for their age group, but they are also doing Clare Grundmon's "Kentucky 1800", which was written in the 1950's and was standard band repertoire for quite some time. A new piece by Randall Standridge called "Metro Dance" is a high-energy reflection of life in New York City. While their musical performance covers several styles and everyone's tastes are different, Boyd says she thinks most of the students like it best.
The Paducah Symphony Orchestra will perform several pieces, including two by Johannes Brahms:
BRAHMS - Hungarian Dances No.1 in G minor
DEBUSSY - Prélude à "L'après-midi d'un faune" (Afternoon of a Faun)
MAHLER - Symphony No. 1: Blumine
STRAUSS - Fledermaus: Overture
BRAHMS - Symphony No.4 in E minor, Op.98
Maestro Raffaele Ponti said he has book-ended the performance with the German master, and Brahms not only wrote, but orchestrated "Hungarian Dances", showing all of the rich colors of orchestras during the Romantic Period, when winds, brass and percussion were stronger. The final piece is Brahms' last symphony, and Ponti says it is particulary impressive.
"He uses all of the same notes and rhythms that all of the other composers use, but Brahms' Symphony Number 4 reaches into your heart at the concert hall, grabs it, and pulls it right out of your chest - it's such beautiful, passionate music," Ponti said.
For tickets or more information, visit the Paducah Symphony Orchestra website link below.
On the Net: Paducah Symphony Orchestra Website