Central Hosts Large Group Music Contest

Cobbler musicians will showcase their talents Thursday when Central hosts the region’s high schools in the Large Group Music Contest.

By Molly Boehler

The Region 8 Large Group Music Contest is this Thursday (May 28, 2016). This means that  various performing arts departments will be visiting our building all day and the sounds of beautiful voices, smooth strings, and vibrant winds will fill the hallway by the east entrance. The hallway may be crowded, but the music will be fine.

All of our performing arts groups will be involved in the large group contest. Three of the groups who will be involved are Concert Band, Concert Choir, and Chamber Orchestra. All are bringing a piece that highlights a moment in history.

Concert Choir will perform a song called “City Called Heaven” with soloists Ben Newman, Bailey Quade, and Chrissy Hilgemeier. This song is about the struggle of trying to live a life that will get you into Heaven. It is a spiritual hymn originating from the time of slavery in America.

Choir Unity 4
The Concert Choir will perform a moving piece called “City Called Heaven.” Photo by Callan Baxter.

Concert Band will also perform a selection about a historical event. The song “Inchon,” composed by Robert W. Smith, was created to pay tribute his father, Ben Smith–a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars.  This song features various percussion effects that imitate helicopter blades and gunfire as well as sounds of the ocean shores.

Chamber Orchestra will perform “String Quartet Number 8 Op. 110,” composed by Dmitri Shostakovich. Shostakovich wrote this piece in three days out of anger that he was forced to join the communist party in the Soviet Union in July of 1960. Split into 5 Movements, 25 minutes in length all together, you can hear his oppression represented in a single, quiet violin note being held out as the rest of the orchestra replicates knocking on his door to take him away. This arrangement has Jewish themes woven within. The emotional composition represents his powerless struggle to be an artist in an oppressed time, as this song was kept secret for years since he was not allowed to release any non-Russian music. This piece features Patrick Knowles and Levi Kent soloing in the violin section, as well as Isabel MacLachlen with a cello solo.

The orchestra will perform a piece by Dmitri Shostakovich. Photo by Gabe Miner.

Large group contest is truly a work of art. It is a beautiful time of showcasing the talents of students in our community.

Title photo by Callan Baxter.