Concert orchestra travels to Kansas City


Photo by Cory Spawn

Senior Nick Alm lets a Kansas State School for the Blind student touch a violin after a performance while on tour to Kansas City on April 10-13.


On Apr. 13, the Stillwater concert orchestra looks to complete a grueling, fast-paced, four day trip that reaches all the way to Kansas City. They will have two performances and the trip will feature a couple master classes as well, to enhance the group’s abilities. The orchestra will depart on Apr.

Kansas City was chosen because it is possible to drive there in one day and allows them to spend more time in the city, without having to be gone for very long. The orchestra director, Gerard Jones, happens to know a conductor in the Kansas City area that will be able to direct a very educational master class. Kansas City also has a very fine symphonic orchestra that will provide a phenomenal listening experience for the students.

The trip will require the group to be on the go often and their performances will be intriguing, with all the playing on one day, Apr. 11. One of the performances will be at a blind and deaf school, which will be a new experience for many of the musicians.

“We’re spending a day and just seeing what’s out there and just enjoying each other and having fun.”

— Jerry Jones

“We do all of our playing on Friday. Then we pack our instruments away and Saturday is all play,” said Jones. “We’re spending a day and just seeing what’s out there and just enjoying each other and having fun.”

Among the activities the group will get to take part in is a visit to the National World War 1 Museum at Liberty Memorial and laser tag.

Junior Kieran Downs is excited for the various activities he will experience. “Laser tag is going to be a blast,” added Downs. “It will be fun to try and take out other members of the orchestra, and hopefully Mr. Jones will take part in the competition, too.”

There is not a single, particularly special event or performance, but the whole trip will feature a few smaller performances or activities.

In reference to special performances, Jones said, “I used to do that kind of stuff. I would rather experience the city.”

The orchestra goes on a trip every year with previous trips featuring Chicago, Denver and St. Louis.

Downs has not been on a trip with the concert orchestra yet, but has been to trips with an orchestra before. “I think it will be about the same as most other trips, but it’s always fun to be with different people than I have on past trips,” said Downs.

The orchestra has been planning this trip since the beginning of the school year, and, according to Jones, he “starts preparing for a trip, if not by the beginning of the school year, then in September.”

The trip will surely bring learning opportunities and will allow the orchestra to become closer. The students must be looking forward to their exciting trip.