Tuesday, May 19, 2009

May 11-13 Spring Tour with Jazz Ensemble and Show Choir

This year, I accompanied the Jazz Ensemble and the Show Choir on the groups' annual and wonderfully successful Spring Tour from Monday, May 11, through Wednesday, May 13.

I gathered the photographs for your convenience into the following four sections:

  1. Plattsmouth High School

  2. Lees Summit Retirement Community

  3. Worlds of Fun

  4. Lunch at Bryant's and the Jazz and Negro Baseball League Museums

After packing the bus between seven and eight on a beautiful Monday morning, the group headed to Plattsmouth High school for the first of three concerts on the schedule.

At Plattsmouth High School, the groups performed for over a hundred very enthusiastic music and band members in the school's excellent theater.

In the following video, you can hear the Misty Blues perform "Louder Than Words" from Tick Tick Boom:

And for a very energetic and responsive audience, the Jazz Ensemble offered in the following video their version--and what has become, as I noted in another blog entry, their signature song for the year--"Car Wash":

From the Plattsmouth show, you can also watch The Misty Blues' "It Had Better Be Tonight" and the Jazz Band's performance of their very popular "Respect."

After the Plattsmouth audience of high-school students, the groups loaded the bus and headed for Kansas City where that evening at 7:00 they performed at Lees Summit to a very different but equally enthusiastic audience of over a hundred people who live in a large--over 2,000 folks-- retirement community there.

From the Misty Blues' performances, you can watch here their version of Earth Wind and Fire's September:

And From the Jazz Ensemble's offerings, enjoy the exciting Big Noise from Winnetka:

From the Lees Summit videos, you can also watch Jane Henry's sultry "Fever" and the Misty Blues' We Belong.

The final performances of the Show Choir and Jazz Ensemble took place on Tuesday in what turned out to be the most challenging venue, Worlds of Fun.

As the following image indicates, the stage on which the Jazz Ensemble and the Misty Blues performed looks like a train station--and for a very good reason:

In fact, if you watch near the conclusion of Moanin', you will see behind the stage's "train car" background, the white puffs of the train's steam engine as the sedate ride through the park pulls into the station:

And as you can tell from watching the Misty Blues perform "Handful of Keys," the youngsters on the nearby rides make their presence emphatically know. But, as the saying goes, the Jazz Ensemble and the Misty Blue played on, matching the youngster's enthusiasm and joy:

For your pleasure, I also uploaded from the Worlds of Fun fanfare the Jazz Ensemble's "Afro Blues" and the Misty Blues' "September."

The excitement continued after the show concluded, for the entire group spent the remainder of the day experiencing the excitement of the various roller coaster attractions.

Somewhere, the photographs of Tom Ediger and me on The Patriot ride--55 seconds of horror--offer a very good definition of terror.

But I post a picture from Worlds of Fun that includes me and Tom, pleased to stand on firm ground with happy members of the group:

The final day of the tour, Wednesday, we did not get started until 11:30 when we hopped on the bus for lunch at Arthur Bryant's BBQ, a famous restaurant that certainly lived up to its reputation.

After a delicious lunch, we spent three hours at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum, two places worth your visit.

I close this entry with a photograph of everyone from the Spring Tour gathered around the bust of Charlie Parker; indeed, The Bird Lives.

May 10 Walk on the Trace Trail

Spring Columbine Along the Trace Trail

On May 10 before going "on tour" to Kansas City with the Show Choir and the Jazz Ensemble, I took finally a pleasant walk along the Sherman Memorial Area to photograph the sculptures and check for wear and tear.

As the images taken on my three-hour walk indicate, most all the sculptures remain in pretty good shape, from the swimming Maiden to the Bobcat and from the easily-missed Skull and Hand to the popular Genie at Hollow 12:

The collection of the Sherman Memorial pictures on my Flickr account provide a good source for comparison; and the blog entry for the Trace Trail contains additional source material, including links to videos made from images along the Trace Trail.

Sherman's salute to the soldiers involved in Desert Storm continues to fade, especially at the sculpture's base. The first photograph comes from two years ago and the second from my recent walk.

Eagle in 2007

Eagle in 2009
Roland Sherman, of course, enjoyed watching his sculptures change over time--and we know that the group of ten sculptures that the Memorial Area feature comes from the last set of sculptures Sherman created.

Still, the evident decomposition clearly bothers many who enjoy spotting the familiar landmarks along the trail.

And the erosion is evident in the sculpture of the Posing Woman and the Coat of Arms, as the following combinations make clear:

Posing Lady 2007

Posing Lady 2009

This close up of the head indicates the manner in which growths threaten to obscure the details especially of the sculpture's head:

Perhaps the sun will burn away some of the moss as spring and summer progress; I will check again in August on my return to Peru State College for year seventeen (!).

The most obvious damage afflicts the Coat of Arms. As the following contrast indicates, a large piece of the sculpture fell away:

The sculpture looks as though it peels away from the sandstone, probably a product of time and the manner in which Sherman created his sculptures by laying a concrete base over the sandstone foundation.

Otherwise, the sculptures look in pretty good shape, adding interest to the beautiful walk along the Trace Trail in any season.

Monday, May 18, 2009

May 3 Spring Concert, Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble

On Sunday, May 3, in the College Theater, the final on-campus concert of the Spring Term took place on a very pleasant day and in equally comfortable conditions.

The Concert Band--under the direction of Dr. Pat M. Fortney and with the assistance of Ken Meints-- opened the afternoon's performances.

And I posted for your enjoyment and for your downloading needs a series of photographs from the Spring Band Concert.

I recorded three sections from the final piece, "Courtly Airs and Dances":

Saltarello (Italy)

Sarabande (Spain)

Allemande (Germany)

Following the Concert Band's performance, the Jazz Ensemble, under Pat Fortney's direction, took the stage.

With its usual vim and vigor, the Jazz Band energized the theater with an exciting array from tunes, from Stevie Wonder's Superstition to the number I recorded on You Tube, What is Hip.

Or you can listen right here--again, clicking on "High Quality" makes a significant difference.

Enjoy the music:

April 30, Peru State College Appreciation Day

After returning from my visit to Calvert Elementary School, I helped with and took photographs of the Student Senate's final major event of the Spring Term, Peru State College Appreciation Day from 4:00-7:00 at Cotty's Restaurant.

Over one hundred forty members of the Peru State College community participated in this first off-campus event of its kind that Student Senate has sponsored.

A look at the photographs underscores that everyone enjoyed Cotty's chicken wings, a friendly environment, and good music for three hours at the term's conclusion--and the baseball team won as well.

The Student Senate--for which I serve as co-Sponsor along with Ted Harshbarger--offers special thanks to Cotty's Restaurant for their wonderful hospitality and generous support of this and many other college-related events.

We hope to repeat this event and perhaps to sponsor others that bring the Peru State College and Peru communities together.

CAAB also helped with this event, and Casey's donated many of the door prizes given away during the festivities.

The Student Senate also thanks in particular graduating senior Josh Gibbs for his concerted efforts over the past many weeks to bring this event to fruition.
He overcame many obstacles and ensured through his hard work a well-organized and successful PSC Appreciation Day.

And for three hours, "Escape the Fire" provided energetic entertainment for the crowd of Cotty's chicken-wing fans.

Having forgotten my camera earlier in the day amidst the third graders, I could not include a video of the band in action--the members include three talented Peru State College students who also take part in either the Jazz Ensemble or the Misty Blues.

Escape the Fire is Kevin Krause, Michael Parde, Logan Merz, and Todd Krause.

I enjoyed the event and look forward to the next installment.

April 30 Visit to Calvert Elementary School

Calvert Elementary School Third Graders

On Friday afternoon, April 30, I enjoyed 90 + minutes of fun and excitement with some 50+ Third Graders at Calvert Elementary School in Auburn, NE.

In the preceding two photographs, the youngsters show off the pictures of various birds--from Northern Cardinals to Yellow-shafted Flickers--they colored after learning to identify various birds by sight and by sound.

the video on You Tube indicates, the talented students learned a few bird songs and enjoyed themselves:

Wendy (Alexander) Fulton arranged for the visit with the combined third-grade classes; and I
was pleased--as happened a couple weeks earlier on April 18 when I did another Feathers and Verses program for fifth graders at Paddock Lane School in Beatrice--to see another Peru State College student doing his student teaching, Taylor Dunekacke, winner of this year's Scroll of Service Award.

Wendy (Alexander) Fulton and Taylor Dunekacke

I was thrilled to receive the following gifts from the students--and see the photographs from the visit--and look forward to a return trip to Calvert Elementary School.