Music Performance major Lauren Kohake

Usually, band director Pete LaRue chooses an upper-classman to put in the spotlight for the year-ending Tiger Symphonic Band Spring Concert. But, this time he didn’t hesitate to name “uber-talented” flautist Lauren Kohake, a sophomore from Florence, KY, as the featured soloist.

“Lauren’s a very skillful musician, one of our very best, and one of the finest we have ever had – trust me, when you hear her play, you’ll understand,” Dr. LaRue said. Hear for yourself at 8 p.m., Thursday (April 28) in John L. Chapel – a themed concert he’s calling “Ireland: Legend and Lore” with works by Hazo, Smith, Grainger, Grundman and Holst.

Lauren Kohake (rhymes with LAKE) will actually play a flute solo on “Carnival of Venice” by Italian composer Giulio Briccialdi – one of the nice little “surprises” LaRue likes to throw in each year. “This is the first time I’ve performed a solo with a band and I’m extremely excited,” she said. “As an instrumentalist, you dream of this.”

The Music Performance major (emphasis in flute performance) dreams one day of playing professionally for an orchestra in a major city. As a Boone County High School senior, she got a taste of what that’s like while playing Music Hall with the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra.  Playing on soundtracks for Pixnar or Disney movies is also on her future wish list.

Lauren, who also plays piccolo, piano and guitar, said she could also see herself in a band like (Seventies rock group) Jethro Tull. “If the symphony thing doesn’t work out, that is,” she added.

Meanwhile, Lauren is enjoying her “balancing act” of the Tiger Symphonic Band, the all-female a capella group known as Tiger Tunistas, and the varsity golf squad. “I try to play a few holes every day,” said the Tigers No. 2 player.

“I try to channel my nervousness and adrenaline into my performances,” said Lauren, a Communication & Media Studies minor who could be talking about her play on the links – or with the band.

Other concert highlights Thursday will include the traditional honoring of the Elder Band Scholars (seniors) with a performance of “Old Scottish Melody” while a special video presentation is displayed, the presentation of the 2011 Spirit of the Grrr.