Bangor Symphony brass quintet to play

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STRATTON – Less than five months after the Bangor Symphony Orchestra awed a crowd of 1,000 concert-goers at the inaugural Kingfield POPS show, a quartet of band members will be back, this time to dazzle the area’s youngsters.

Lori Wingo, Wanda and Bill Whitener and Jim Trembley, members of the Bangor Symphony brass quartet, will be in Strong and Kingfield elementary schools Thursday and in Stratton and Phillips elementary schools Friday.

The educational outreach, dubbed Know Your Orchestra! is a follow-up to the summer POPS concert and yet another chance for the Bangor orchestra to connect with its new summer home.

Bangor Symphony Orchestra executive director Susan Jonason said it proves the orchestra’s devotion to the community.

“This effort is not just in us going in and having a summer concert and coming home. It’s bringing the music into their lives on an ongoing basis and getting kids’ enthusiasm level right up there.”

It’s also a chance for SAD 58 elementary and junior high students to see a real future in making music.

“This is very exciting for SAD 58,” said Vici Robinson, a member of the Mount Abram Economic Development Organization’s Kingfield POPS committee. “To have the Bangor Symphony feel that it is part of their mission to bring great live music to the rural areas is splendid. To me, this is the introduction of another kind of role model to the children.”

Wingo said the goal of the presentations will be to get kids involved any way they can, whether it be asking students to get up and march to their music or teaching them how to make a trumpet at home out of garden hose and a funnel.

“We drop that invisible curtains between the audience and performers,” Wingo explained. “We teach them there is more to music than what they see on MTV. We want them to learn to appreciate all kinds of music. Increase their horizons.”

Students will see and hear a variety of different brass instruments, learn about the history of instruments and students currently playing brass instruments will get short- one-on-one lessons.

For a district that had its music program canned in the early 1990s due to budget woes, having members of the Bangor Symphony come to town is a big deal, said SAD 58 Superintendent Quenten Clark.

Since Clark came on board, he’s hired a music teacher, and the program is picking up steam. He said he sees the brass quartet’s visit and the Bangor Symphony’s presence in Kingfield this past summer as a way to up the ante. “It’s wonderful,” he said. “Hopefully, this will give kids a vision that music is not just something that’s fun but also that there is a future in music.”

Long-term music substitute Micah Voter said music enriched his life, and he hopes it can do the same for his students.

Community members are invited to attend the Bangor Symphony’s Brass Quartet’s educational workshops in the school.

The quartet will be at the Strong Elementary School Gym from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and in Kingfield Elementary School Gym from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, and at the Stratton Elementary School Gym from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and the Phillips Elementary School Gym from 1:15 to 2:25 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22.

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