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Preparatory Orchestra and Children’s Chorus to perform December 11

ISSUED: 5 December 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Preparatory Orchestra, Junior String Ensemble, and Children’s Chorus will present a concert at the Frank Center Theater on Wednesday, December 11, at 7:30 p.m.

The Children’s Chorus is directed by Dr. David Gonzol, assistant professor and director of music education at Shepherd. Assistant conductor for the chorus is Angela Weaver. The program is titled “The Future: What Will Happen?” and includes “Rain Rondo,” composed by Dr. Gonzol; “They Tore the Cabin Down,” written by American folk composer John Lilly; “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” first performed by schoolchildren as a celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in 1900; and “Hand Me Down My Silver Trumpet,” which will be accompanied by Shepherd music majors on piano, trumpet, and percussion. The chorus includes male and female vocalists in grades 3 through 8 and meets Wednesday evenings throughout the school year at the Frank Center.

The Shepherd Preparatory Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Scott Hippensteel, will present a program inspired by the landscapes and cultures of the Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires at the close of the 19th century. The repertoire includes “The Moldau,” by Bedrich Smetana; “The Nutcracker Suite, No. 1,” by Peter Tchaikovsky; and “Romanian Folk Dances,” by Bela Bartok. Alexander Borodin’s “In the Steppes of Central Asia” will be conducted by Kari Edge, assistant conductor of the Preparatory Orchestra.

Heralded as one of the best youth orchestras in the region, the Junior String Ensemble and Preparatory Orchestra includes elementary, middle, and high school wind and string students from Washington County, Maryland, and Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia. The orchestra meets Wednesday evenings for rehearsals and presents two concerts during the school year. Enrollment is open and based on an audition process. Shepherd University music faculty string coaches for the orchestra are Heather Austin-Stone and Jeffry Newberger for violin, Kathy Shrader for viola, and Stephen Czarkowski for cello. Wind, percussion, and string players from Shepherd University also participate in the orchestra.

General admission to the Shepherd Preparatory Orchestra and Children’s Chorus concert is $5; Shepherd students and Friends of Music MAC cardholders are admitted for free. For more information call 304-876-5555 or visit

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