OPS percussion students of all ages will perform “Connected” on April 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. at the OHS auditorium. The show incorporates multiple art forms like band, choir, orchestra, theatre, dance and visual art. This unique experience takes the audience through a story via percussion.
“No one else does a percussion concert that involves all the forms of art when it comes to the secondary school level like we do,” said Aaron Klausing, OPS percussion director.
What makes the show even more unique is six of the 14 songs that will be performed are arranged by Klausing, making them world premieres. One of the featured songs this year is Coldplay’s “Head Full of Dreamsead Hdasfasdfasdfsdfa.” Klausing took the original song and rearranged it to allow fifth- and sixth-graders to play it. Owensboro High School student, Trevor Elliott, even got in on the arrangement mix and wrote/arranged a tune for Red Steel, the band’s steel pan band. The song is called “Na Na Na” with the original being written by Pentatonix.
“The percussion concert is important because it gives percussion a chance to play other music than the concert band music, which can often be boring for percussionists. We get a chance to play more challenging percussion music and play more music that we enjoy,” said Miranda Phelps, OHS student.
The show will follow an original script written by Abby Lane, Klausing’s sister-in- law. OHS theatre students will portray a group of friends at Davidson High School who are waiting for class to start when they become aware of the latest in a recent string of media blackouts. The information blackouts affect all broadcast media and internet communication, and people all over the country are discussing their theories and worries about who is behind them—but struggling to communicate them with others. When evidence of a plan to close their school as part of a mysterious new government training program arrives at the office, the friends begin to form their own plan to make their voices heard above the strange new silence.
“The percussion concert means I get to hang out with all of my closest friends at once and do something I love at the same time, which is play music,” added Phelps.
Admission is free.
The OHS Percussion Ensemble has been invited to perform at the 2016 Kentucky Music Educators Annual Conference in Louisville on February 5. This annual event draws thousands of teachers to four days of clinics and performances by the best ensembles in Kentucky. About 5% of ensembles who apply to perform are selected annually. The OHS Percussion Ensemble is one of two percussion ensembles selected in the state to perform.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the kids. This honor is shared not only with our current members, but all the past members of the OHS Percussion Ensemble. There is something special happening here, and I am just so excited about what our future has in store for us,” said Aaron Klausing, Percussion Director.
In only their fourth year of existence, the percussion ensemble has grown exponentially, performing to immense audiences and involving all aspects of our school with vocal, dramatic and dance elements as part of their performances.
“It comes as no surprise to me that our OHS Percussion Ensemble has been selected for this amazing opportunity. I watch our students perform on a daily basis and believe they have the talent to perform on any stage,” said John DeLacey, OHS Principal.
Residents of Owensboro have grown accustomed to the wide range of music offerings OHS band students enjoy. Seeing our Marching Band, Concert Bands, Jazz Ensemble, Red Steel Band and Percussion Ensemble perform in concert and in a wide variety of community events make this program part of why Owensboro is a great place to live.
“When great teachers work with talented students anything is possible. Our school system’s long-standing tradition of support in the arts makes it possible to achieve excellence with every student. Congratulations to Mr. Klausing, our dedicated students and thank you to our school board and school leadership for ensuring the arts thrive in Owensboro,” said Tom Stites, OPS Fine Arts Coordinator.
This is the second time the Owensboro Band program has been invited to KMEA, the first time being in 2013 when the OHS Red Steel Program was given the honor of playing for the opening of the convention.
Owensboro High School Marching Band Shines at KMEA Semi-Finals
The OHS Marching Band placed fourth in the Western Region KMEA 4-A Marching Band Quarterfinals on Oct. 24. This is the highest the OHS band program has ever placed in this event.
In KMEA Semi-Finals held @ Greenwood High School on Oct. 31, Owensboro High School placed 9th in Class 4-A. This is three places higher than last year and a major step forward in our band program. Adjudicators noted a significant improvement in visual performance over last year.
State marching competition allows our high school students to measure their progress with the established marching traditions across Kentucky. As our program continues to grow and mature over the next two years, we expect even greater things ahead.
Band Directors Abe Barr, Aaron Klausing, Brandon Etienne and Kaitlin Callihan appreciate the outstanding efforts of our band students, the support of our vibrant band parents and the ongoing support our community, school administration and school board.
Our senior band members have been integral in the progress we are experiencing. Working with our newest members to make them better musicians and better students, they are shaping the future of our OHS Bands. Thanks to following seniors for making a difference!
All performances are free and open to the public and begin at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m.
“Collectively, 30,000 OPS students have performed on stage or had their artwork exhibited over the past 18 years! To stage evening performances in a professional venue for Orchestra, Choir, Band, Theatre and Dance with over 700 works of Art also on public display is pretty amazing. The commitment from our district that every school is represented and that every child has the opportunity to participate is truly remarkable,” said Tom Stites, OPS Fine Arts Coordinator.
Stites estimates audiences have totaled over 100,000 during that 18-year period.
“Our 2017 Fine Arts Festival theme "Wisdom Begins With Wonder" is a reflection from Socrates on how all real learning (Wisdom) is based upon an awareness of the world around us (Wonder). Socrates valued the arts as a way to gain valuable insight in nature and in all learning,” said Stites.
In summer of 2016, the Owensboro Public Schools’ Board of Education was given the Award for Excellence by the Kennedy Center and the National School Boards Association.
March 20-30- Visual Art Display
March 20- Orchestra
March 21- Band
March 22- Choir
March 28- Theatre
March 29- Dance Night
Owensboro High School’s Percussion Ensemble has been selected to perform at the 2016 Kentucky Music Education Association Conference in Louisville, KY at the Louisville Convention Center on Feb. 4 at 1:05 p.m. EST. After a rigorous audition process, OHS students were chosen as one of only two percussion ensembles in the state to perform during this prestigious event. Under the direction of Aaron Klausing, students will perform some of the most advanced and technical ensemble compositions at the conference.
“We found out last July that we were selected for the conference. With the high level of talented students in our band program, I knew right then I wanted to program some really challenging music for the ensemble. The kids have responded to the challenge, playing at levels they never thought was possible,” said Aaron Klausing, percussion ensemble director.
If you can’t attend the KMEA conference, you can still watch the Owensboro High School Percussion Ensemble in action. The group will perform their program for parents, friends and the community on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Owensboro High School auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public. Those wanting to catch the OHS Percussion Ensemble in Louisville will need a ticket for access to concerts in the 200 level. Concert tickets are available at the KMEA registration desk in the Bridgeside Lobby.
“I’m looking forward to showing our group where I grew up. So much of who I am today was shaped by the people I learned from in Oldham County,” said Aaron Klausing, Red Steel Director.
Red Steel is a group of OHS students based on student musicians, not necessarily percussionists. The idea was to form a group in Owensboro that would allow students to play high-energy pieces, and perform shows in and around Owensboro. Red Steel has played at Kentucky Music Education Association, numerous Owensboro events including the induction of the new convention center and also with the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra.
Art Festival Director Mary Klausing, who also happens to be Aaron’s mom is excited for her son’s group to show off what OHS students have to offer.
“Aaron started a steel drum group with the Louisville Leopards called Steel Leopards, and formed another steel group at OHS. I’m so proud of what he’s been able to do both for Owensboro students and the Owensboro community. It’s going to be a treat to see Red Steel perform in Oldham County,” said Mary Klausing, Art Festival director.
Red Steel is scheduled as the opening musical group on the Woodsongs Coffeehouse Stage at the 2nd Street Gazebo.
Sutton’s chorus performed and their drama troupe did comedy sketches throughout the evening. Art projects were also showcased. School officials cut a ceremonial ribbon to officially open the space. Sutton Elementary has been and is a special place for anyone who has connections to the school. Over the past year, the school has undergone some major renovations and students and staff wanted to showcase their new, state-of-the art facility to the public.