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TTU News

Published: Mon Nov 19, 2012


thumb presser1Hundreds of elementary school students hear performances on the stage of Wattenbarger Auditorium at Tennessee Tech University every year, but only a select few get to take the stage themselves and join the professionals.

This year, third- and fourth-grade students from Sycamore Elementary School in Cookeville will take the stage with TTU’s Brass Arts Quintet for a concert featuring “Twas the Night before Christmas” and other holiday favorites at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27.

The concert comes on the heels of another for elementary students featuring the Bryan Symphony Orchestra.

“I think they really enjoy it, to see themselves directly in that same scene,” said Joshua Hauser, TTU trombone professor and quintet director. “They saw the orchestra, they met us on stage and then they get to go home and tell their parents they get to do this themselves.”

Every year, the Bryan Symphony Orchestra plays for students from Putnam and Warren counties. Hundreds of children listen to music by famous composers and more familiar pieces like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

Some of the students nod their heads in an attempt to keep time, while others pretend to conduct the music. Many jump in their seats at an unexpected blare from the brass or percussion sections.

thumb presser2“They hear music all the time, but they don’t necessarily connect it with a person playing,” Hauser said. “We give them a chance to see if they want to play music themselves.”

The Sycamore students will sing with the quintet, and Jennifer Shank, chair of TTU’s music department, will narrate “Twas the Night before Christmas” in a composition by Charles Decker, trumpet professor and member of the quintet.

Other works in the concert include “Joy to the World,” a new piece called “Gentlemen and Kings,” which combines elements of “We Three Kings” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by trumpeter and professor Chris McCormick, and a collection of other favorites.

The quintet also includes TTU tuba professor R. Winston Morris and Greg Danner, horn.

The concert is free and open to the public. Wattenbarger Auditorium is located in the Bryan Fine Arts building at 1150 N. Dixie Ave.