CMS enjoys Alabama Symphony Orchestra

Published 2:50 pm Monday, May 14, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Clanton Middle School band students in seventh and eighth grades had their first experience attending a live symphony orchestra performance during a trip to the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham.

CMS band director Casey Clark said students raised the necessary funds to pay for their tickets.

“Several students didn’t have to pay a dime,” Clark said.

Forty people, including students and parents, went on the trip.

“It is something we could do in our state, where we are supporting the arts in our state,” Clark said.

Clark said it was a good opportunity for students to see Birmingham and “to be in the environment of a professional performance.”

“It is a whole lot different listening to classical music than it is seeing it, and all the sounds that are there and the atmosphere that is there,” Clark said.

He said the experience prompted the students to ask questions about the instruments.

“It’s as close to perfection on earth as anyone can imagine,” Clark said.

Student Selene Sublett said she was not sure what to expect before the trip. During the performance, she was impressed by how calm the musicians were.

Sublett said she enjoyed watching the conductor do little dance moves as he conducted the orchestra.

Student Lindsey Popwell said hearing the orchestra tune to warm up was interesting and different.

“It’s amazing,” Popwell said.

Popwell said she wants to be “the next bass clarinet player” for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to the performance, Clark familiarized the students with concert etiquette.

“Lots of people don’t know that you have one entire work of music that may multiple movements and in between those little movements that make up this one piece you don’t clap,” Clark said. “Not one of the students clapped at the wrong time.”

The group attended on the Centennial Celebration of Leonard Berstein.

“Leonard Berstein is a famous classical composer of the 20th Century,” Clark said. “He is responsible for the music and the writing of West Side Story.”

West Side Story was a Broadway musical before it was turned into a movie.

Berstein also composed ballets, symphonies, chamber music and piano music.

“You name it, he wrote it,” Clark said.

The group qualified for a discount through the Alabama Symphony Orchestra education programming.

Clark said he was thankful to Deanne Sirkot of ASO and the ASO education program for making the trip affordable for students.