Ponca City High School Symphony Orchestra Presents Annual Spring Concerto Concert

Ponca City Now - May 9, 2024 5:43 am

The Ponca City High School Symphony Orchestra will be presenting their Annual Spring Concerto Concert is Thursday, May 9 at 7:00 pm in the Ponca City Schools Concert Hall. The group is under the baton of Paula R. Cochran, Director of Orchestras at the high school. Katie Rolf and Cassidy Broome assist each day and teach orchestra at the middle and elementary schools. Trent Davis has assisted with the wind and percussion section of the Symphony Orchestra. Retired maestro Dan P. Larson has been invited back to conduct seven pieces on the program. We are excited to invite our alumni to play the last two pieces on the concert. The Finale will include our traditional farewell to the senior class ending with On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss.

The community is cordially invited to the last performance to be given by this award-winning group of musicians. “This orchestra senior class has worked hard to continue Dan Larson’s legacy,” said Paula Cochran. “They are an amazing group of young people that have left footprints in our hearts.” There is no admission charge to the event.

The 2024 Award-winning symphony opens the night with A Pirate’s Legend by Soon Hee Newbold. This piece, directed by Paula Cochran, is a musical adventure filled with pirates, buried treasure, and struggle on the high seas. The symphony orchestra received straight superior ratings on their performance of this piece at OSSAA State Orchestra Contest in February.

Next, we invite retired maestro, Dan Larson to present The Idylls of Pegasus, by Richard Meyer. The seniors requested this piece as it is truly a favorite of theirs to perform.

 Following, the orchestra will perform The Ludlows, the main theme from the movie Legends of the Fall. John Moss’ arrangement of this melody features senior violinists Sarah Dingus and Anastasia De Leon, conducted by Dan Larson.

Julian Estrada, a senior saxophonist, will then paint a picture of the culture and scenery of Provence, France as he performs two movements of Paule Maurice’s Tableaux de Provence. This performance will be guest conducted by Dr. Edward Dixon.

 Senior cellist Landon Howe will take the stage next to perform La Cinquantaine by Gabriel Marie, conducted by Dan Larson. This wistful tune shifts between minor and major keys in the style of a French dance.

To conclude the first half of the concert, director Paula Cochran will again take the podium to lead the orchestra in a performance of Nocturne by William Hofeldt. The orchestra’s performance of this challenging piece at OSSAA State Orchestra Contest in February contributed to their straight superior ratings and sweepstakes award.

Following the closure of Nocturne, the senior members of the symphony orchestra will be recognized with an escorted walk to the stage. The Symphony Orchestra has 27 seniors this year, of which 21 are string musicians.

After the senior recognition, Paula Cochran will return to the podium to direct the symphony orchestra in Soon Hee Newbold’s Warrior Legacy. This epic work explores the heroes and warriors of myth and legend in a cinematic-type style.

Next, senior Raktim Adhikary will delight the audience with George Hamilton Green’s Log Cabin Blues. This xylophone solo will transport the audience back in time to the days of ragtime music and will be guest conducted by Trent Davis.

Continuing the concert will be senior violist Laura Belt with the third movement of Friedrich Seitz’s Concerto No. 2 in G Major. Dan Larson will return to the podium to conduct this merry viola melody.

The final concerto of the night will be performed by senior cellist Cooper Leonard with a beautiful arrangement of Arioso by J.S. Bach. This lyrical and peaceful piece will be conducted by Dan Larson.

To conclude the last portion of the concert, we are excited to invite over forty alumni to take the stage with the symphony orchestra for two pieces directed by Dan Larson. First, the group will take to the seas for Hans Zimmer’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. In Lavender and Longfield’s arrangement, themes from the film flow seamlessly into one another, featuring auxiliary maritime percussion, a haunting oboe solo, and a triumphant finale by the brass section.

It has become a tradition to conclude the final concert of the year with On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss by David Holsinger. This beautiful work is based on the moving hymn It is Well with My Soul. Retired Maestro Dan Larson says, “This is one of the orchestra’s favorite pieces to perform. They know the history of the hymn and how to bring the music to life. I can’t believe there is a group anywhere who performs this selection any better than they do. They play with such heart.”





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