Brass Quartet wows Strong’s students

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STRONG – A little science and history was squeezed in between playful renditions of popular music all created by brass tubing, valves, bells and a fair amount of breath.

The Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s Acadia Brass Quartet is visiting MSAD 58’s elementary schools this week as part of a collaboration that rose from the annual popular summertime Kingfield POPs program. As part of the program, 24 musical instruments, a piano and organ, have been donated to area schools so that everyone who want to play music will be able to do so.

Brass Quartet members Lori Wingo and Bill Whitener played their trumpets, while Wanda Whitener on French horn and Anita Jarosch on trombone joined in to show the kindergarten through eighth-grade students at Strong Elementary School the amazing range and versatility of their brass instruments.

Students listened to some of the first horns ever played when communication wasn’t about text messaging. Jarosch played a conch shell – known as the first signaling instrument – asking first if it would be loud. And students were right – it was loud. Even louder was a shofar from an elk’s horn that was played by Wingo.

Strong Elementary School Principal Felecia Pease conducts the Acadia Brass Quartet during a program held today to introduce brass instrument music, history and science.

Bill Whitener pulled out a “B” flat garden hose and played a nice little diddy, but Wingo asked the students what was needed to make the sound louder. Pulling out a metal funnel and attaching it to the garden hose produced a much louder concert. When asked why it was louder, a student up in the stands explained the funnel spread the sound out more to amplify Whitener’s music.

Valves on the instruments allow for the scale of notes to be played and was invented by a plumber, Whitener noted.

As the foursome played together, students were asked to remember when each instrument joined in. A young student, Miranda, answered that in order, it was the trombone, French bone, then trumpet and the second trumpet. Wingo said she was right except for the French bone, but allowed it and awarded a kung fu Pez dispenser to the student with the good ears.

Brass Quartet members Lori Wingo and Bill Whitener play the cornetto.

To complete the session, the quartet played “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” which got students tilting their head and shaking their shoulders in time with the music and earned a big applause at the end.

“Thank you for coming and enriching our lives,” Principal Felecia Pease said to the musicians.

The public is encouraged to attend the programs and learn along with the students. After the Strong School, it’s 1 p.m. Kingfield School and on Oct. 24, 10 a.m. Stratton School and 1:30 p.m. at Phillips School.

Hans-Erick Jarosch, 3, plays a little tune with help from Lori Wingo of the Acadia Brass Quartet. Han-Erick’s mother, Anita, is a meber of the group.

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