Posts Tagged ‘Columbus Community Orchestra’

Jordan Band Director Wins the Harry Kruger Memorial Award

April 9, 2013
Columbus Community Orchestra Conductor William Fry and Harry Kruger Memorial Award winner JVHS Band Director Adam Mitchell

Columbus Community Orchestra Conductor William Fry and Harry Kruger Memorial Award winner JVHS Band Director Adam Mitchell

The Jordan Vocational High  School Band is back in the game, and the young band director responsible  was honored at the Columbus Community Orchestra concert at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church.  When Jordan Band Director Adam Mitchell was named this year’s winner of the Harry Kruger Memorial Award for Excellence in Conducting I was reminded of what another young man did in 1946.

Bob Barr also took over a 17-member Jordan band that could barely play an easy march and in no time at all beefed  up the number of musicians  and had it winning superior ratings in the district music festival.  The band went on to become national champions in a competition in New York, play in presidential inaugurations, and travel to play in such places as Los Angeles.  He also was the director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.

Now, another young man has come along to get the Jordan Band back to winning superior ratings in district music festivals.  The band, under Adam Mitchell’s leadership, has done that for two years in a row.  He got a huge hand when Columbus Community Orchestra Director William Fry announced that he had won the Kruger award.  The late Harry Kruger taught music at Columbus College and was director of the Columbus Symphony for a number of years.

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“Mr. Music,” George Corradino, Says MCSD Music Program Needs a Supervisor

November 24, 2008

  

Ben Mallard)

Dr. George Corradino playing with Columbus Community Orchestra (Courtesy: Joey Cumming)

 Dr. George Corradino, as only he could, used the occasion of being featured soloist of the Columbus Community Orchestra, to issue a call to action in support of school music in the Muscogee County School District. He had just finished playing “Georgia On My Mind,” with the orchestra, and he added an unaccompanied solo of Italian music his mother loved, both crowd pleasers that got him a big hand, when he launched into an appeal for everyone there to lobby the school board to hire a supervisor of music. That’s the job from which he retired. The system hasn’t had one for years, now, and he thinks it shows.

  “We are about to get a new superintendent of schools so now is a good time to push for an emphasis on school music and hiring a supervisor of music, ” he told the crowd.

  Afterwards, as we were walking out to ours cars, I said, “George, I guess the reason we don’t have a supervisor of music is because of the money.”

  “It’s not the money, Dick. They would save money by having a supervisor.”

  “Then what is it?”

   “I don’t know, but it’s not the money.  By having a central office for the school music program they could save money in ordering supplies, for one thing. And how about hiring music teachers? Principals are hiring them now for each school.  Music is not their speciality. They don’t have the qualifications for hiring band directors and other music teachers.”

  Over all, he thinks the music program in the schools has gone down. It appears to me that he is right. For instance, over all, the high school bands are nowhere nearly as impressive as they were for many years, years when the superintendent and school board ardently supported the program.  That support started when Dr. William Henry Shaw became superintendent after World War II and it increased over the years. But, where is it now?  

  The strange thing is that Columbus is a music city. The Schowb School of Music at Columbus State University is one of the best in the country. The school’s Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble are both outstanding.  The Columbus Symphony is a fine orchestra. And we have community groups such as the Bob Barr Community Band, the Cavaliers big band, and the Columbus Community Orchestra, providing not only music for all of us to enjoy, but giving an outlet to adult amateur musicians. But, what has happened to the Muscogee County School District’s music program?  

  George was getting really hot about it because he, like me, knows how far reaching a good music program can be. He knows that music students usually make good overall students and learn self-discipline which helps them all through life.  Have you ever noticed how many physcians are musicians? The first violinist of the Community Band is Dr. Ken Goldman, a Columbus surgeon. Dr. Mary Schley, a retired pediatrician, plays viola. My late cousin, Dr. Billy Dodd of Macon,  loved to play the piano, and had his own dance and jazz bands.

Joey Cumming)

Dr. Ken Goldman, surgeon, first violinist of the Columbus Community Orchestra (Courtesy: Joey Cumming)

  Yes, music is very important in life.  Let’s hope the new superintendent and the school board realize that and act accordingly.  If they don’t, beleive me, George will be after them because he has the energy to do it. Though my age, 78, he still goes full steam, giving his time to lead the Cavaliers Big Band, the Bob Barr Community Band and play for all sorts of occasions.

Joey Cumming)

Columbus Community Orchestra, william E. Fry, Conductor, James B Mallard III, Assistant Conductor (Courtesy: Joey Cumming)