Rebecca Thompson, Rachel Ward, Gavin Sewell
Soloists from left: Rebecca Thompson, Rachel Ward, Gavin Sewell

Jim Durham, News Bureau Director

Director Pete LaRue has so much talent this year, he chose three student soloists to perform during the Fall Anniversary Tiger Symphonic Band Concert – Celebrating 166 Years of Bands at Georgetown College – on Nov. 22.

The three in Monday’s spotlight will be: Rebecca Thompson, a senior from Ashland; Rachel Ward, a junior from Georgetown; and Gavin Sewell, a senior from Dawson Springs. Sewell, who also performed a solo spring before last, has the additional honor of conducting the College’s Alma Mater at the end.

The curtain will rise at 8 p.m. in John L. Hill Chapel. Admission – as is customary for this Thanksgiving tradition – is a canned food item that will then be collected and donated to the AMEN House in Scott County.

“Each soloist is an exemplar of excellence – great academics, great members of our campus community, great-great young musicians. And each of the solos they are playing are very different in nature – Mozart with Rebecca on French Horn to the Wren Polka with Rachel on Piccolo, to Trumpeter’s Lullaby with Gavin.”

Here, each performer gives some insight on their particular solo:

Rebecca Thompson

Rondo from Concerto No. 3 K447 (1787) composed by Mozart, arranged by Bardeen

“One of my favorite things about my solo on Mozart’s third horn concerto is how it sounds like a hunting song. There are a couple of repeated measures that sound exactly like a hunting call that even non-music people ought to be able to recognize. Also intriguing is how the lilt of the song calls to mind horses galloping to me. It is so interesting to me that Mozart could bring to mind such imagery of the hunt just by the style of the work.”

Rebecca is in the Honors Program and studied two Spring 2010 terms (Psychology of Religion and Pauline Literature) at Georgetown’s University of Oxford partner in England, Regent’s Park College. A Psychology major, Religion minor, she is a member of the Campus Ministry Leadership Team as the Freshman Ministries Co-Coordinator.

Rachel Ward

The Wren Polka (1880) composed by Damare, arranged by Beard

“The title is pretty self explanatory – this is a dance inspired by a wren. You could listen for the dance’s themes and variations, but really, the piece isn’t meant to be picked apart; it’s supposed to be light and fun.”

At Georgetown, Rachel has been involved with Phi Mu fraternity, Project Compassion, Honor Council, National Honor Society, Presidential Mentorship Program, Independent Films Club. She is a Spanish major, and Chemistry/Art double minor.

Gavin Sewell

Trumpeter’s Lullaby (1949) composed by Anderson

“Well, first, the tune is called a lullaby for a reason.  It is just that…mostly a sweet and easy tune that is written to appeal to the modern western ear.

Someone who knows very little about music reading or music making might pick up the solo part and assume the piece is either extremely fast or extremely busy…as each measure is filled with several notes, most of which are marked ‘staccato or short.’

But as you listen, you find (again for the most part) that the piece doesn’t and shouldn’t come across that way at all.  That’s where a little musical integrity must come into play…make it feel easy, and try to ensure that it comes across that way. “

Sewell, a Biology major and Music minor, was installed as the 20th Gem Alumni of the Tiger Bands two years ago. Already a graduate of John Gupton College of Funeral Service Arts in Nashville, he is a Kentucky Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer. He will finish his GC degree this December.

The concert is, of course, much more than the sum of these three wonderful solos. Director Pete LaRue is also very excited about two new works for band – Black River Overture (Doss) and Arabesque (Hazo). “These are barn-burners!”