St. Louis Symphony musicians help Jennings students prepare for Powell Hall Performance

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St. Louis Symphony musicians Shawn Weil, Bjorn Ranheim, and Dave DeRiso have been visiting Jennings Jr. High School to help orchestra students learn all about the joys of music.

The visits are part of the St. Louis Symphony in Your School Program. The musicians are working closely with the students to prepare them for a performance at Powell Hall.

“it’s just amazing because they could be doing so many other things,” 13-year-old Laila Woodbury said. “This is an amazing opportunity.”

James McKay Jr., the district’s orchestra teacher, said the visits help “inspire” his students.

“Having someone who does this everyday, as a profession, shows them that there really is light at the end of the tunnel,” McKay Jr. said.

The students aren’t alone in gaining inspiration from the program. Shawn Weil said “really enjoys” working with the students.

“It’s definitely something that inspires me because you see the kid light up when they catch a concept,” Weil said.

The Jennings Jr. High School students are set to perform at Powell Hall before the April 28th subscription concert.

“It’s going to be fun,” Woodbury said.






Symphony in Your School @ UCity High

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The Symphony in Your School program took up residency at University City High, as represented by violinist Shawn Weil and cellist Bjorn Ranheim, who spent a few mornings with Lucy Mosier’s string class. STL Symphony video intern Nicola Muscroft put this mini-documentary together about the experience.

Its Own World

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During a break in the Sibelius 5 rehearsal, St. Louis Symphony Principal Trombone Timothy Myers took a moment to tell me about his admiration for Sibelius’ music, and provided a little insight into how the famous swan theme works.