WKHS band and choir visit the Music CityThe William Kelley High School band and choir students recently returned from a five-day trip to Nashville. A group of 18 students participated and were accompanied by band director Kris Peterson and choir director Mary Carroll.
By: LaReesa Sandretsky, Lake County News Chronicle
The William Kelley High School band and choir students recently returned from a five-day trip to Nashville. A group of 18 students participated and were accompanied by band director Kris Peterson and choir director Mary Carroll.
The students spent half of one day in workshops at Belmont University, working with the band and choir directors there to improve their technique.
“We learned some new techniques and they gave the band a little more edge to our songs,” said Kenny Albrecht, ninth-grade clarinet player.
The trip wasn’t all work, however; there were plenty of opportunities for play. Most of the students considered their visit to the Grand Ole Opry a highlight of the trip. They got a backstage tour of the almost century-old concert hall which has hosted country music’s biggest stars, including Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton. The WKHS group was able to see performances by some of the genre’s more contemporary acts including Blake Shelton, Josh Turner, Montgomery Gentry and Steve Wariner. They also toured the Ryman Auditorium, which used to be home to the Grand Ole Opry.
“It was really amazing to go and see,” said Abby Michels, junior percussionist in the band and soprano in the choir.
The students also saw RCA Studio B, where songs were recorded by such luminaries as Bobby Bare, Waylon Jennings and Charley Pride. Senior percussionist Faith Frahm took the opportunity to play the studio’s Steinway piano – the same instrument used during some of Elvis Presley’s recording sessions.
The students toured the Tennessee capitol building, the Nashville Parthenon, the Belle Meade Plantation and cruised the Cumberland River through downtown Nashville on the Andrew Jackson Showboat.
Senior Kyle Blood, who plays the trombone, said downtown Nashville lived up to its nickname —Music City
“It was really cool...to walk around and see live entertainers on every corner,” Blood said.
Carroll and Peterson said the trip went smoothly and the group seemed to receive special treatment everywhere they went.
“We really want to thank the community because they really supported (the students) and helped make the trip affordable,” Peterson said.
Thanks to fundraising and donations, the trip, which was originally priced at $900 per person, ended up costing the students only $300 each.
“It’s really a tribute to the community,” Peterson said.