Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra Season Finale


All across America, April marks the month when one hears the familiar call to “Play Ball!” On Sunday, April 10, the musicians of the Marshall community will “Play On!” as the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra closes its “Twice the Music, Twice the Fun” Season with another exciting “double-header”.

 

For the entirety of the 59th Season, MPO has “pulled out all the stops” for its patrons to welcome music lovers back to live performance following its 58th Season hiatus due to the pandemic, and Sunday’s concert will be no exception.  Throughout the history of the orchestra, the most popular concerts with the largest audiences have proven to be those that include Marshall’s beloved Community Chorus and those that include the young musicians of Marshall High School’s highly respected String Program. With that in mind, Conductor Kevin Lines felt there was no better way to honor the community than to combine the best of both worlds all on one stage in one glorious musical celebration.

 

The concert will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Harold L. Lickey Auditorium of Bueker Middle School and is generously underwritten by Community Bank of Marshall and Exchange Bank.

 

Founded by Marie Boedeker in 1988 as part of the planned events for Marshall’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, the Marshall Community Chorus gave its first performance as part of Religious Heritage Day.  Now, thirty-three seasons later, the chorus has expanded to include full concert seasons, sustains a membership of more than thirty singers of diverse backgrounds and ages, and meets weekly to cultivate their talent and bring to life the dots and scribbles on every page of music.

 

Ron Sayer brings over 38 years of experience and knowledge to the podium of the Marshall Community Chorus.  Having taught music at all levels of education, he retired from full-time teaching and as the Music Arts Coordinator at State Fair Community College in July, 2019. Among his many choral leadership roles, Mr. Sayer served as National Coordinator for Community Choruses for the American Choral Directors Association (2010-2015) and has a special interest in the role of life-long singing and the effects of aging on the singing voice.

 

The Marshall High School Orchestra is a vital link to the Marshall Philharmonic.  Harold L. Lickey knew that when, as a science teacher, he was asked to begin a high school music program. Mr. Lickey embraced the challenge of teaching outside his certification to bring his two passions together to teach the “science of music”. Since the mid-1900s, the Marshall Public School String program has continued to grow, thrive, and serve the community orchestra.  These young musicians are enthusiastically welcomed to play beside the veteran performers, become loyal arts supporters, and share their love of music with their children and grandchildren.

 

Jordan Summers is serving in his 5th year as Director of Orchestras and Assistant Band Director for Marshall Public Schools.  Under his direction, the string program has experienced exceptional growth and prompted the addition of a second string specialist to the program in the fall of 2019. As the orchestra continues to earn top ratings at district and state levels as a large ensemble, its members are also now expanding their success in the area of solo and small ensemble performance.  On April 29, 11 students will be honored to perform at the Missouri State High School Activities Association State Music Festival having earned exemplary ratings at the district level in Sedalia just 2 weeks ago.

 

Sunday’s program will be filled with fervor.  By definition, fervor means intense and passionate feeling. Music, by its nature, expresses intrinsic emotion, but this final concert of the season includes music of especially soulful meaning. Compositions chosen for Sunday include “Epitaph” by Joseph Martin, “Consider the Lilies” by Roger Hoffman and Laurence Lyon, “Deep River” arranged by Mark Hayes, “Battle Hymn of the Republic” by William Steffe, and “God of Our Fathers” arranged by Missouri composer, Claude Smith.

 

These pieces were carefully selected for this concert, in part, because one of the orchestra’s current members was recently diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. It is with great sadness, the orchestra announces that this member died peacefully in his sleep on April 5.  Conductor Lines states, “To honor the life and musical career of this special man, Sunday’s concert will be dedicated in the memory of Marshall native, esteemed music educator, talented musician and devoted MPO friend, Buddy Hannaford. May your fervor for music live on in all of us forever.”

 

MPO board members offer their warm thanks to its loyal patrons.  “Your financial support and presence never goes unnoticed. Each and every subscriber and audience member has helped to make this 59th Season a huge success.  Please join us for a season finale designed to honor our bright past, present, and future.” This event is admission-free and suitable for audience members of all ages.