Alabama Symphony Orchestra performs at high school; band members treated to lessons from professional musicians

Posted 3/9/17

By RON HARRIS

Daily Mountain Eagle

Students in the band programs at Walker and Cordova high schools and Maddox Middle School, as well as members of the Encore show choir at Walker, were treated …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

Alabama Symphony Orchestra performs at high school; band members treated to lessons from professional musicians

Posted

By RON HARRIS

Daily Mountain Eagle

Students in the band programs at Walker and Cordova high schools and Maddox Middle School, as well as members of the Encore show choir at Walker, were treated to a special concert by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra Wednesday in the Pam Brown Theater at the new Jasper High School.

The concert was part of the ASO’s educational program, which allows the orchestra to travel across the state to perform.

Deanna Sirkot, ASO’s education manager, said Wednesday’s performance at Walker was made possible by funding from the Alabama Department of Education.

“We’re very fortunate to receive funding to take the orchestra on tour every year around the state,” Sirkot said.

The reason for the tour, she said, is not only for educational purposes but also as a way to give back to the communities across Alabama.

“Part of our mission is to change lives through music,” she said, “and part of that is a very robust education program where we try to serve students.”

Members of the brass sections of the Walker High band were given a rare opportunity Wednesday to participate in the ASO’s Masters Class program. ASO musicians Ryan Beach (trumpet), Nicholas Ciulla (trumpet), David Pandolfi (horn) and Andrew Miller (tuba) spent time with students working to help them improve their musical talents.

“With trips like this, we really try to enhance the music education programs at the schools we visit,” she said. “We also try to leave the students with something to think about, and maybe a little extra inspiration they can take with them for the rest of their lives.”

Sirkot said the ASO receives nothing but praise for its visits.

“We always get a positive response,” she said. “The schools always feel like this was the highlight of the students’ day. It’s a really unique opportunity for these kids to hear the Alabama Symphony Orchestra live in their hometown.”

Because of the ASO’s busy schedule each year, the orchestra can only make six to seven stops across the state each year, Sirkot said.

Wednesday’s visit included a special concert by the ASO. The program, which Sirkot said was the ASO’s ‘Inspiration Program,’ included music by Prokofiev, Beethoven and Elgar.

The highlight for the students, however, came when the ASO performed music from ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ by composer John Williams.

“We hope the students walk away a little more inspired about how to look for new opportunities, or to maybe look at things a little differently than they did before. We try to do that through classical music.”

“Having the Alabama Symphony Orchestra here today has just been an amazing experience for our students,” said Walker High band director Jason Lipscomb. “Most of these kids have never heard a live performance from an ensemble of this caliber, so it is very exciting for them. Also, the clinics that students attended were very impressive. We feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity.”

You can learn more about the Alabama Symphony Orchestra by going to its web site at www.alabamasymphony.org.