The Oak Ridge High School Fusion Orchestra performed on the “Blue Plate Special” radio show on WDVX FM 89.9 on Friday. Here are photos from the show.
The groundbreaking fusion orchestra is now in its second year at ORHS, and it is the brainchild of ORHS Orchestra Director Doug Phillips, a press release said. According to Phillips, the class is a result of his doctoral studies during the past seven years at one of the top music universities in the world: Boston University.
“The class is a unique way to teach orchestra students for several reasons,” Phillips said. “First, in a traditional orchestra, all of the students are guided by notes on a paper that tell them exactly what to do and when to do it, how loud to play it, when to stop, etc., while the teacher acts as an overseer and dictates of all activities.
“Fusion orchestra is different because, first, we don’t play classical music. Students play blues, jazz, fiddle, bluegrass, pop, and rock. Students take ownership of the class because the teacher is simply another member—not the leader. Students learn to play music based on memory, improvisation, charts, and scales not taught in regular orchestra such as pentatonic and blues scales. Fusion orchestra allows students to play on several instruments not included in traditional orchestra such as mandolin, banjo, guitar, piano, and percussion. Students are encouraged to play other instruments besides their primary instrument. Meanwhile the teacher plays an instrument with the students as an equal member of the group.”
Phillips said students are also taught how to create and arrange their own music. The class offers real-life skills for orchestra students to and teaches them how to perform outside of the traditional classical orchestra, the press release said.
The “Blue Plate Special” radio performance featured music that has been created by the students in the group including “You’re gonna go far kid” by The Offspring and several blues numbers.
For more information on the ORHS Fusion Orchestra, contact Phillips at [email protected].
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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