Let us boil cabbage together on our ... violins?

Some 170 burly laborers traversed through the bucolic Lampeter countryside to attend a hoedown this evening in the barn ... er, Performing Arts Center.

Tonight marked the first concert of the year in the PAC, and it featured the fourth grade, fifth/sixth grade, seventh/eighth grade, and high school orchestras, all under the direction of Mr. Robert Shaubach, whom, in the spirit of the concert entitled "Hoedown", one might label the "caller" (although there was no square dancing, to the dismay of ... well, no one).

The high school's symphonic orchestra -- often known as "full orchestra" -- opened the concert with Aaron Copland's venerable "Fanfare for the Common Man", which featured the orchestra's brass and percussion sections.

Fanfare for the Common Man was written in 1942 for the 
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra after the United States
entered World War II

After the high school, the fourth grade orchestra made its world premier right here in Lampeter, and demonstrated what it has learned in its first month, including pizzicato and basic bowing skills on such tunes as "Hot Cross Buns" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

"The benefit of this concert is that the younger students get to see what they can accomplish if they keep going," says Mr. Shaubach.

A file photo of the L-S HS orchestra
from Graduation 2015
'I see what the big kids are doing,' is the reaction for which Shaubach hopes when the fourth graders see the elder ensembles in action.

The fifth and sixth grade orchestra then took to the stage to perform a trio of selections including "Appalachian Hymn" and "Country Hoedown", followed by the seventh and eighth grade orchestra's rendition of "American Pioneer Suite", the final movement of which included a recognizable motive most commonly known as "Do Your Ears Hang Low?", which conjured images of ears "wobbling to and fro" and perhaps even being tied in a "knot or a bow."

The program for the evening's
Luckily everyone's ears were back where they belonged when the high school's string ensemble returned to the stage to play "Snake River Stomp." For its final selection, it was joined by the percussion section to play the concert's title piece, "Hoedown," also written by Aaron Copland.

As the hoedown reached its conclusion, senior bassist Hannah Hess began an inconspicuous bass line, and was gradually joined by the remainder of the high school basses, and then the cellos. And then, upon the signal of concert mistress Lauren Mast, all orchestras -- fourth grade through high school -- joined together to improvise the old American folk song "Boil 'Em Cabbage Down", which, as Shaubach shared with the audience, originated in Africa and came to America via slave ships.

It was a fitting ending to a concert that cultivated a spirit of community, which was Shaubach's goal in selecting music "for the common man".

As Shaubach said to the audience near the conclusion of the concert, to have the successful music program with which L-S is blessed, "it takes a community."

--Benjamin Pontz, LSNews.org Editor-In-Chief

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