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Sweet, sweet sounds

January 27, 2005|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - A couple hundred of the county's brightest young musicians did their best Wednesday evening to transform North Hagerstown High School's auditorium into a fine symphony hall.

The auditorium was about two-thirds full with proud parents and music fans for the annual All-County Middle and Senior High School orchestra performances.

The All-County Middle School Orchestra performed a range of songs from "Andante for Strings" to "Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead!"

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The latter was a favorite of Carly Dodson, a seventh-grader at Boonsboro Middle School. Dodson was playing violin in her first concert with the orchestra.

"That one was the easiest," said Dodson, who promptly began joking with other players and talking about future orchestra trips.

Shannon Flook, mother of Paige Flook, a Boonsboro Middle School sixth-grader who plays violin, said the orchestra seemed to bring out the best in young players.

"It's really good for them to play with other musicians," Flook said. "She never got to play in a big group before this."

Guest Conductor Elizabeth Schulze, conductor of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, led the 105-piece All-County Senior High orchestra through a spirited five-song set.

Clear Spring High School junior Cory Lewis, playing trumpet in the orchestra for the first year, said he joined for the challenge of doing something different. Lewis called the experience, especially working with Schulze, "awesome."

"(Schulze) knows how to make us sound good and shows a lot of enthusiasm, which makes us perform much better," Lewis said.

Students were not the only ones impressed by the conductor's enthusiasm. Sheri and David Hose, parents of Williamsport High School sophomore violin player Danielle Hose, were, too.

"It just gets better every year," Sheri Hose said. "Elizabeth puts so much into it and involves everyone."

"It makes you look forward to next year, what music they'll pick," David Hose said. "That last one was really good."

"Quest for the Grail," written by former North student Michael A. Mogensen, drew thunderous applause from the audience as the closing piece.

"This is, by far, the best one I've seen," said Clear Spring High School senior Ryan Chaney, who played clarinet for the second straight year.

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