Budding Ardmore musicians will spend most of Presidents Day next week learning from some of the top performers in the state. The University of Oklahoma Wind Symphony will be holding workshops with Ardmore High School Wind Ensemble members on Monday, before a joint concert that will be free to the public.
Ardmore senior Ian Bell started playing trumpet in middle school and now plays tuba for the AHS Wind Ensemble. He has watched an Oklahoma State University ensemble in person and even played alongside East Central University musicians, but the chance to join OU musicians for a performance will be something special for him. “I’m excited to hear how they play right on the stage with them,” he said.
Ardmore director of bands Chauvin Aaron said it’s not uncommon for colleges to do tours around the state for recruiting purposes, but Monday’s visit will be much more. “We’re excited because they’re actually going to be with the kids all day in their classes,” he said.
Monday will be a long day for the Ardmore musicians. AHS Wind Ensemble members will begin their rehearsal with the OU Wind Symphony at 7:30 a.m. before breaking off for sectional rehearsal and coaching sessions until lunch. Members of the Ardmore Middle School beginning and intermediate bands will then spend the afternoon with OU musicians to further prepare for the evening concert.
Aaron believes the experience will give his students some immediate confidence and long-term music lessons. “To know what their instrument can do, the capabilities and possibilities if you practice and you stick with it, is going to be pretty amazing for them with members of the OU band sitting to the left and right,” he said.
The OU Wind Symphony and AHS Wind Ensemble joint concert will be Monday, Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m. The performance at Washington Theatre will begin with the AMS intermediate and advanced bands and wrap up by 8 p.m. with a combined performance of “America the Beautiful.”
“Come out and support,” Bell said. “It’s a free show.”