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Warming up the crowd for the MSO

Boonsboro sax players slated to performamong the audience before Salute to Independence

Boonsboro sax players slated to performamong the audience before Salute to Independence

June 27, 2006|by RYAN WILLARD

On Saturday, July 1, four student saxophone players from Boonsboro High School will strut their stuff at the Maryland Symphony Orchestra's annual Independence Day concert program, Salute to Independence.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg. It is free and open to the public. Generally, thousands of families bring blankets and picnic coolers and spend the afternoon at the park.

The four Boonsboro players - Tyler Austin, who plays alto and soprano saxophones; Tyler Deatrich, alto sax; Chris Heim, tenor sax; and Adam Stevens, baritone sax - will perform for about an hour beginning at about 6:30 p.m.

The MSO concert will be performed on an orchestra-sized stage.

"The stage is huge - really, really big," says Tyler Austin. The huge stage will dwarf the Boonsboro quartet, right?

Well, not exactly.

"We won't be on the stage. We're going to be out with the audience, playing for about an hour. We'll be sort of migrating I guess," Tyler said with a sort of sigh and laugh all in one. "It is an honor, though."

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It does sound like an honor.

"Our band director told us that (MSO organizers were looking for a high school band or ensemble), and he wanted us to be the ones who played there," Tyler said. "We agreed to it. We had no idea what we were getting into, though. But now, we're sort of going with it."

By going with it, the group has practiced once a week for several months. Adam doesn't seem to mind.

"At first, we got out of class as soon as we got our first piece, 'The Liberty Bell March,'" he said.

Now, the group tries to practice on weekends, and prepare for songs like: "Sailor's Hornpipe," "King Cotton March" and some other patriotic songs.

"We are also thinking about doing a little surprise song, but we haven't decided on that yet," said Adam.

You can really tell that these guys try hard to sound their absolute best, and they are very excited to have the opportunity.

"I think it's great actually," Adam said. "If something gives us a chance to go out and let us show the people what we got, I'm all for it."

Salute to Independence does just that, and although some of the players are a little nervous, it lets them do another thing - have fun.

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