Stellar performances: Showcase for Young Musicians demonstrates investment in our youth as the Bosque Civic Music Association stages live concert
“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” – Greek Philosopher Plato
Bosque County Civic Music Association’s primary goal is promoting the musical arts in the community in general. Under the motto “Music enriches us all, invest in our youth,” they focused on promoting young musical talent with their fifth Showcase for Young Musicians, which offers local young musicians an opportunity to perform and share their talents with the community.
The outstanding quality of the performances in the beautiful and acoustically excellent Frazier Performance Hall at the Bosque Arts Center on Thursday, March 9 compensated for the lower amount of students performing than previous years. The performances were intrinsically enhanced by the knowledge that the youth spent many, many hours of practice to get where they were that day; that they overcame the nervousness about performing, and that they performed to the best of their ability. Parents’ hearts soared with pride; grandparents grinned from ear to ear; friends marveled at the achievements.
Playing solo for a group of strangers might be a daunting task in itself, but performing as a duo, trio or quartet presents a whole different challenge. Playing together means having to control your own instrument as well as listening and following the other performers to achieve the best possible performance. Meridian High School’s Not So Jazz Band combined the talents and skills of 12 people, including Director of Bands Daniel Yguerabide and Percussion Tech Toney Rogers.
Starting with “Stand by Me,” they performed “Smooth” by Carlos Santana and “Long Train Running” by the Doobie Brothers. Meridian High School was very well represented in the Showcase. Members of the Jazz Band for the evening were Maryn Roberson on flute, Kai’den Gentry on Clarinet, Colby Cummings on alto saxophone, Jackson Boganwright on baritone saxophone, Ellie Baker on Euphonium, Dawson Cummings on trombone, Hayden Cummings on trumpet, Trent Pruitt on bass guitar and Caleb Cummings on the drum set.
The evening started off with a welcome by Kathy Harr and Master of Ceremonies Bryan Davis and a very special rendition of the National Anthem on baritone saxophone, played by Meridian eighth-grader Jackson Boganwright, accompanied by Mr. Y on piano. The audience heard stellar performances from 10-year-old Tripp Klam who sang, playing acoustic guitar, all the way up to more experienced and practiced seniors Kylie Hood on flute.
Meridian eighth Grader Caleb Cummings started off the musical performances playing the percussion instrument, the Marimba – the name meaning “many xylophones.” The national instrument of Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, the Marimba originated in Africa and South America. Cummings played Sam Gevers’ “March of the Peacock.”
His brother Colby played Johan Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” on alto saxophone. The piece is well-known around the world for being played at weddings and graduations. Scholars believe it was originally written for Johann Sebastian Bach’s older brother’s wedding. Bach’s brother was one of Pachelbel’s students.
The two were joined by their other two brothers Hayden and Dawson playing trumpet and trombone in the jazz band. Looking extremely handsome in their black suits, the quadruplet’s performances created a very special and proud “mom-moment” for their mother Wendy.
Youngest performer of the night, 10-year-old Tripp Klam from Cranfills Gap debated the song he selected for the evening “14 Miles from Home,” by Six Market Blvd, a local Stephenville band, or a more familiar John Denver standard. Before this big performance Klam received guitar lessons for a year from local musician and performer Markus Miller.
“He amazes me, because I couldn’t do it… but like he told his teacher ‘fear is just frozen excitement,’” his mother Tai Klam said on Facebook after his performance.
The only Clifton performer Keoni Dolida, a seventh-grader on Tenor Saxophone, played a “Star Wars” medley by composter John Williams; a medley of six excerpts from the first Star Wars film trilogy he arranged himself. Dolida has been playing sax for a year-and-a-half. He also plays the bass clarinet. It
Meridian ninth-grader Ellie Baker on the euphonium which looks very similar to a baritone, but has larger tubing. It’s deep, darker sound perfectly fit Claire Johnson’s “Red Canyons,” filling the Performance Hall with warm, melancholy tones.
A home-schooled Valley Mills tenth-grader Karina Tergerson studied piano since she was five, and worked on adding vocals for a year now. She performed Tommaso Giordani’s “Caro Mio Ben” – a beautiful declaration of love from the composer to his object of affection and a declaration of pain and sorrow.
Meridian senior Kylie Hood closed out the solo musical performances with “Sonata in F Major” by composer Georg Telemann. At the start of the 18th century, music was only available to nobility or through the church. A true innovator of his time, organist and composer Telemann, created the Collegium Musicum, one of the first series of concerts available to the general public. These concerts in Hamburg, Germany, made music accessible to the general public.
MC Davis put a spotlight on BCMA Secretary Paige Bizzell – who has a profound love for music and for young people – for organizing the event for three years now. Another shout out went to Steve Schmidt, manning the lights and sound from the back of hall; and to Debra Evans, in charge of all the transitions between the musicians.
The Showcase for Young Musicians started in 2015, then again in 2016, 2018 and 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the 2020 and 2021 events, and scheduling problems led to last year’s absence. With that the BCMA hopes to grow the event, encouraging more area youth to participate in this great opportunity to practice their performance skills outside of school band.
During the evening, Davis informed the audience of the BAC’s building history, the former Clifton Lutheran College, founded in 1896. The only building surviving is the BAC structure which was built a hundred years ago in 1923, and designated a Texas Historic Landmark in 1976. Much of the college burned in 1942, and the College closed permanently in 1953. It sat empty for years. The grand old auditorium fell silent, and was in a terrible state of neglect – broken windows, trash and debris everywhere and home to hundreds of pigeons.
Finally, thanks to hard work by so many, extensive funds and grants, the auditorium underwent a beautiful transformation in 2017. Today, it plays host to concerts featuring famous performers, like Larry Gatlin, Crystal Gayle and the Glenn Miller Orchestra, as well as becoming the new home to the beautiful sounds of the Bosque Chorale.
“So, this building has really come full circle tonight on a special anniversary with the auditorium filled once more with the laughter, the singing, the musical talents and dreams of young people,” Davis said. “Just as it was intended from the very beginning.”
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS. Chisholm Country magazine correspondent BRYAN DAVIS contributed to this article.
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