Farewell to High School Class of 2013!!!

IMG_0637[1]After six years of watching my son go from an excited sixth grader who’s lifetime goal it was to play the music he heard while watching The Lord of the Rings, and learning to play the bass, we have reached another major milestone: graduating from high school.

Into The Woods- Youth Orchestra- 2011

Into The Woods- Youth Orchestra- 2011

For the past four years, Kris has matured not only as a young man, but also as a musician. His musical accomplishments are dreams that have come to fruition. Some of the most memorable high lights included: winning the position of Principle Bass Player for the Alliance Theater production of the Broadway musical, Into the Woods (2011), and a spot in the 2012 and 2013 Statewide Honor Orchestra. He was also a member of the Mount Zion High School Jazz Band and has won awards there as well. But as I write,  my eyes fill with tears knowing  my son, whom I have watched grow from an infant with long legs and arms, to a 6” 2′ man, is about to embark on another journey in his life…college. In the fall he will start his pursuit of a Bachelor of Music degree and has been accepted into the Clayton State University Music Program. His goal is to become a music teacher and give back to the community and youth by teaching the benefits of music in our lives.

IMG_0405[1]

Chilling at home playing the bass guitar.

Watching him walk the Georgia Dome football field among the other talented kids (his friends) who have come in and out of my home over the past few years was a moment I will never forget. Tears didn’t come to my eyes until after the ceremony when we found him in the courtyard. It was a moment of tears for our entire family: our first born has moved into adulthood.

One down…three more to go! 🙂

Here are some of my favorite musical highlights: 

The Mount Zion High School Jazz Band performing Livin’ My Life Like It’s Golden by Jill Scott

Palladio, by Karl Jenkins. This song was featured in a diamond commercial, one I am sure you’ll recognize the moment it comes on.  These was performed by the 2013 Georgia All-State Honor Orchestra. By the way, they learned this and three other difficult pieces of music in 8 hours! As the orchestra director, Thomas Joiner, pointed out, professionals often take weeks to learn these pieces. I couldn’t be prouder!

#####

Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

2012 Georgia Statewide Honor Orchestra Features Two Students from Clayton County

Kristoffer and Emily warm up before rehearsal starts.

It’s 8:55 am on April 14th.


While most students are home sleeping on a Saturday morning, Kristoffer Caine and Emily Dunn are wide awake, tuning their instruments in preparation for rehearsal to begin. The moment Professor Emeritus, Dean Angeles, walks onto the podium, the music stops and all talking ceases. He instructs the principle members of each section of the orchestra to lead the members in tuning their instruments. Once that is done, he introduces himself and informs them his latest direction was of the New York State All-State Orchestra.
Then practice begins.
This group of orchestra members was comprised of high school students ages 15 – 18.  Students of various ethnic backgrounds and from all over the state converged at Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Georgia, some from as far away as Savannah.
This gathering was the first time a Statewide Honor Orchestra was formed. The orchestra was made up of students who auditioned for the Georgia All-State Orchestra. It was not an easy road. First round auditions for the All-State Orchestra started back in late September, early October of 2011, and were held at Mundy’s Mill High School in Clayton County. Hundreds of students from across the state auditioned. The number decreased and competition for the available spots grew fiercer as second round auditions approached in February.
Professor Emeritus, Dean Angeles, directs the orchestra. 
The number of talented students vying for the positions must have been close, because for the first time, a Statewide Honor Orchestra was put together for students who did not make the cut for All-State Orchestra. These students are being recognized for their stellar playing abilities. As a result, they were offered the opportunity to come together for one day of practice, to socialize with their peers, and to perform for friends, family, and the community.
Parents arrived early Saturday at Sprayberry High School to drop off their kids. Some waited all day, while their son or daughter practiced, until it was time for the performance later that evening. For six hours, the kids practiced, taking two breaks for lunch and dinner, as well as short breathers to stretch their legs, and at times find their focus again, before returning for the intense practice the director put them through. Professor Emeritus, Dean Angeles has conducted the Loyola University Chamber and Symphony Orchestra as well as coordinated a comprehensive string program for the organization from 1980 to 2006. Most recently, he was inducted into the Southwestern College Fine Arts Hall of Fame in Winfield, Kansas in April, 2011.
Minutes before taking the stage. 

Clayton County had two students who were invited to participate in the All-State Honor Orchestra, and amazingly, both students are from the same school. Junior, Kristoffer Caine, and Freshman, Emily Dunn are both students of the Fine Arts Magnet Program at Mount Zion High School, under the direction of Krissy Davis. Both play the Bass. For both students, being selected for this orchestra was a major achievement. For Kristoffer, who made the first round for High School All-State Orchestra last year, but not the second, it was an accomplishment. Emily participated in the Middle School All-State Orchestra, last year, as well as High School All-State Honors this year, so for her, this is a glimpse of great things yet to come. Once during practice, the director paused to compliment the Bass section, saying they were by far one of the best he’s worked with in years. Never once did he have to work on any part of the music with them. He was impressed since they have the hardest instrument to play.

After six hours of practice on music most kids had only received five days in advance, they were ready to perform on stage.
Before a note was played, the director made this comment to audience: “To put an orchestra together in six hours…you don’t even do that with a professional orchestra. I am so very pleased with these young people for what they’ve done….I’m impressed.” The first piece played, was Serenade for Strings, by Edward Elgar, a three piece movement lasting ten minutes. When it was done, he turned around and said: “You have no idea how difficult that piece is. I have some of my university students in the Atlanta area that teach (and) played that piece, and rest assured, we had at least 6 weeks to put that together. These young people had six hours…It’s very impressive.”

 Congratulations to Kristoffer Caine and Emily Dunn for representing the Fine Arts Magnet Program at Mount Zion High School and the Clayton County School System. Programs and opportunities like this are yet another example why music should be kept in our schools.
*Side note, I am so proud of my son and his musical accomplishments this year!*

Written by,
M.J. Kane

Connect with me on the following sites: 

Facebook


Twitter


Google+


Linkedin