Maryville High Orchestra invited to Carnegie Hall

The Maryville High School student orchestra recently was invited to perform this April at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Students currently involved in the orchestra program at Maryville High School have been involved in music education throughout their years in the school system, which culminated under the direction of conductor/educator Bill Robinson when they starting high school. Robinson left the high school at the beginning of this academic year to assume a similar role with Maryville Intermediate school and the Maryville High School orchestra is currently under the direction of Matthew Wilkinson.

Students will immediately begin raising money to pay for their trip. In addition to the concert scheduled for April 23, 2011, students will enjoy three nights in New York, with visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and Broadway - where they plan to see the musical “Wicked.”

Wilkinson was happy his students received the invitation to perform. “I am very honored to take these wonderful students on the trip of a lifetime, to perform in the most recognizable musical venue in the world,” he said.

Maryville High School was one of 13 schools selected to perform, out of more than 500 applicants. Reviewers representing the National Invitational Bands and Orchestra Festival pared the 500 applications down to 34 schools by listening to recorded performances. Based on the criteria and overall scores, the final 13 schools were selected.

At the two-day festival in April, judges will include Frank Battisti and Charles Peltz, director emeritus and director of wind ensembles, respectively, at the New England Conservatory of Music; Craig Kirchhoff, professor of conducting and director of university bands at the University of Minnesota; and Robert Reynolds, principal conductor at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California.

Anyone wishing to help students with expenses can make donations to the MHS Orchestra Carnegie Hall Fund and mail or deliver checks to the school office. Wilkinson can be reached at mmwilkinson@ci.maryville.tn.us or by calling 865-681-2272.

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mschmenger writes:

Now that the Maryville School district has received this honor, the Music program in the 5th Grade has been eliminated and drastically reduced in grades 6-9 to every other day. So what used to take one year to learn will now take upwards of two years. What an impact this will have at a high school level!!! I would hope that the school board would want to retain this recognition of an excellent program. In order for these kids to maintain this level of performance they need to have daily instruction, even if its only 30 minutes instead of every other day.

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