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OBU Hosts Local Students for “Out of this World” Children’s Concert

February 10, 2017

OBU’s Division of Music welcomed more than 250 fourth and fifth grade students to campus for a special performance of “Out of this World.” The concert, featuring an orchestral ensemble joined by OBU piano students and faculty, gave the young audience a peek into the whimsical world of orchestral music through the performance of ‘The Planets” by Gustav Holst and music from “Star Wars” by John Williams.

Students attended the performance from Grove Elementary, Seminole Elementary and the North Rock Creek school system.

Courtney (King) Webster, ’16, served as the emcee for the event and delighted the audience by dressing as Princess Leia. She is the music teacher at Jefferson Elementary in Shawnee. Michael Wilson, ’16, provided arrangements for the musical selections from “Star Wars” as well as video work for the performance. Dr. John McWilliams, professor of natural science, provided information about the solar system for the event.

The orchestra began the performance with selections from Holst’s ‘The Planets,” including, “Mars, the Bringer of War; “Venus, the Bringer of Peace;” and “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity.”

Dr. James Vernon, professor of music, conducted the performance. He also gave a demonstration of a unique instrument called a theremin, which generates an electronic tone, with the volume, pitch, and tone being controlled by the player’s hands disrupting radio waves between two antennas. The instrument has commonly been used on science fiction movie soundtracks.

To close out the concert, the orchestra performed selections from Star Wars, composed by John Williams, including, “Imperial March,” “Cantina Band,” and “Star Wars Theme.” Darth Vader made a guest appearance during the performance and thrilled the audience with his demonstration of the force and light saber.

The concert will be performed again Saturday evening, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. in Raley Chapel’s Yarborough Auditorium as the OBU Family Concert. All OBU students, employees, and their families are invited to the encore performance. A photo booth will be set up beginning at 6:30 in the foyer, to take photos with Darth Vader and other Star Wars characters. Costumes are welcome.