Hear How Band Concert Soloist Sees the Many Joys in Her Life

By Tori Bachman-Johnson ’12

Sara ClarkeSenior Sara Clarke of Middletown, KY, is the Student Soloist for the Fall Anniversary Concert of the Georgetown College Tiger Symphonic Band at 8 p.m. (Monday) Nov. 24 in John L. Hill Chapel.

As the musical legend goes, Cecile Chaminade was in love with a flautist who didn’t return her affections and was engaged to marry another woman. Cecile wrote a flute concertino for him and brought it to the musician on his wedding day; but he rejected her and married his fiancée.

Whether this sad love story is true, the piece remains a difficult but beautiful work for solo flute, and at 8 p.m. Monday (Nov. 24), Student Soloist Sara Clarke will have a chance to play Chaminade’s “Concertino for Flute and Orchestra” in John L. Hill Chapel. The price of admission for the Georgetown College Tiger Symphonic Band’s annual Fall Anniversary Concert is a canned or processed food item, which will be donated to AMEN House for distribution to the less fortunate in Scott County.

“It’s a gorgeous piece of music…and I could see it fitting the legend if you want to see it that way,” Clarke said. “I choose to hear how it might apply to my life – God’s beauty and loving life in general. I encourage each member of the audience to apply this (concertino) to their life.”

Tiger Band Director Pete LaRue said he knew two years ago Sara Clarke – an outstanding musician and student – would be this concert’s soloist. About a year ago, he settled on Chaminade’s “Concertino” – “beloved in the flute world,” he said. “And, it just seemed like a match made in heaven. Sara will burn the barn down with this!”

Clarke, a senior from Middletown, KY, participated in the Eastern High School concert and marching bands, as well as an orchestra and a flute choir at Louisville’s Southeast Christian Church; she was also a member of the (Jefferson) all-county band. This isn’t her first time as a soloist, but she has never played for an audience this large.

“I’ve played many solos in various groups, but none of them have required nearly as much preparation as this,” said Clarke, who has been practicing the piece every day for several months. Though she understands the importance of preparation in combating stage fright and performing the piece to the best of her abilities, she said her solo will reflect her overall musicality as well.

“I think performing a solo is really a representation of everything you already know how to do,” she said. “And, this is the piece of music that demonstrates my ability to play the flute. It is technically and musically challenging, but that’s exactly what makes it so enjoyable.”

And, Monday’s audience is certain to enjoy seeing and hearing this side of Sara Clarke. “I use each phrase as a declaration of some part of myself, either of an experience or a characteristic that makes me who I am,” she said. “That’s what making music is all about and why I find this opportunity so immensely rewarding.”

A double-major in Business Management and Religion, Clarke is unsure about her future plans but knows that her faith will play an important part. “What I do know is that I want to dedicate my life to Christian ministry in some way,” said Clarke, who is considering divinity school after graduation.

An arrangement of “Greensleeves” by Alfred Reed is another highlight of the concert, with Gavin Sewell stepping up as the Student Director. Sewell, a senior from Dawson Springs, performed as a featured trumpet soloist for the band last spring.

The concert music ranges from Renaissance period composition to lively, up-tempo melodies, to rousing and patriotic pieces. Included in the program are arrangements of “America the Beautiful” and “Yankee Doodle,” as well as “The Earl of Oxford March” from the “William Byrd Suite” and movements from “An English Sea Song Suite” by Philip Sparke.

As is the tradition, the college’s Alma Mater will serve as the finale for the concert. This event marks the 164th year of the band program at Georgetown College, the oldest college or university band program in Kentucky.

The band will also be performing at a campus-wide worship service – free and open to the public – at 11 a.m., Tuesday (Nov. 25) in Hill Chapel.



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