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Peoria Concert Preparation by William Tong

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Peoria Concert Preparation

By William Tong

Last year, the eighth grade band and orchestra participated in a state-wide recording competition and sent in beautiful pieces of work to be judged.  After KJHS’s ensembles swept the competition away, they were invited to play at this year’s ILMEA All-state Illinois Music Educators Conference (IMEC) concert at Peoria held on January 25th, where other Naperville orchestras will also perform.  

As the band room quieted down and Kennedy’s Eighth grade musicians took their seats at the morning rehearsal of Friday, October 27th,  Kennedy orchestra teacher and the conductor for the school’s newly formed “Symphonic Orchestra” Mrs. Mcclure stepped up to the stand and directed the students to tune.  The band players tuned individually, whereas the strings tuned in sections.  After tuning, the orchestra started rehearsing Brahms Symphony Number 1 in C Minor, Opus 68. Movement 4, a beautiful work of art, and though the orchestra took it a bit slowly, they pulled it off with great tone quality and rhythmic precision.  

Besides the Brahms Symphony, the orchestra will also perform several pieces, four to be exact.  The initial other two picks were American Landscape, a contemporary piece by Soon Hee Newbold, and Rites of Tamburo, a video-game boss-level sounding, action filled piece composed by Robert W. Smith.  Later on, two more pieces of music were added, “Morning Mood” and “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from “Peer Gynt Suite” by Edvard Grieg and “Overture to Nabucco”.  Though the task ahead is grueling, Kennedy’s players have shown their tenacity and perseverance, and will not diminish the name of Kennedy at Peoria this January.   

That is, however, not to say that Kennedy’s musicians don’t need to practice.  While interviewing Mrs. Mclure, the orchestra teacher commented that the entire orchestra, though in particular the brass section, needed to work on their intonation, and as any teacher would say, “always practice.”


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Peoria Concert Preparation by William Tong