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Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015

Music, maestro, please!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nashville Symphony conductor Albert-George Schram works with the Shelbyville Central Wind Symphony during rehearsals at Calsonic Arena.
(T-G photo by Jim Davis) [Order this photo]
The Nashville Symphony made its annual visit to Shelbyville on Tuesday night, accompanied by the Shelbyville Central High School Wind Symphony.

"Symphony At The Celebration" was the orchestra's first public performance since its well-reviewed return to Carnegie Hall on Saturday night.

Favorites ring out

Nashville Symphony resident conductor Albert-George Schram works with the Shelbyville Central Wind Symphony during rehearsals at Calsonic Arena.
(T-G photo by Jim Davis)
The symphony, under the direction of Albert-George Schram, performed a mix of classical, popular and patriotic favorites, including a three-part finale played in tandem with the SCHS students, with Schram directing both groups at once.

During the tandem performance of Richard Hayman's "Servicemen on Parade," a medley of fight songs for the branches of the U.S. military, Schram asked the veterans in the audience to stand as their branch's fight song was played. Schram waved, gestured and bowed toward individual veterans as the song played, thanking them for their service.

The concert opened, as normal, with the national anthem, and a color guard from Shelbyville Fire Department presented the flag.

Students shine

During a medley of George M. Cohan tunes, Schram gave the solo parts to two SCHS students, Daphne Wilson and Aaron Caffey. Then, during the traditional closing number, "The Stars and Stripes Forever," Kalyn Attig of SCHS took the piccolo solo.

The SCHS Wind Symphony, under the direction of Kayne Gilliland, also performed on its own during the first half of the program, including an arrangement of "Amazing Grace."

Varied program

The symphony's program included everything from Wagner to Gershwin. Schram explained the symbolism of Camille Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre" to the audience, with the violin solo by Gerald Greer representing Death and the xylophone meant to suggest dancing skeletons.

The symphony played two different works by noted film composer John Williams: the main title from "Star Wars," and Williams' "Liberty Fanfare," written to commemorate the restoration of the Statue of Liberty in the 1980s. (Schram misspoke and said the piece was from 1968 instead of 1986.)

Pre-concert and intermission entertainment was provided by the Motlow College Jazz Ensemble, directed by Tom Breece.

Large crowd

No immediate attendance figure for the concert was available, and there's usually not an exact figure in any case because children in general admission are not ticketed.

Steering committee co-chair Dawn Holley said she thought the attendance was down a little bit from the 2011 concert, but it was still a large crowd, including about 100 Girl Scouts and family members of Girl Scouts sitting in a reserved section of the arena.

Extra attractions

Kirstin McConnell tries her hand at the instrument petting zoo held outside Calsonic Arena prior to the concert.
(T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
As the crowd gathered, many of the Girl Scouts, along with other children in attendance, tried their hand at various musical instruments as part of the "instrument petting zoo" manned by Nashville Symphony volunteers. There was also an art show on the Calsonic Arena concourse, featuring everything from professional paintings and sculpture to crayon drawings by local school children.

Because the cost of the concert is actually borne by various sponsors, including Regions Bank, which is the area-wide sponsor of the Nashville Symphony's community concert series, ticket proceeds from the event benefit Bedford County Arts Council.

The Nashville Symphony has been performing in Shelbyville annually since 1989.