Two Ashville High School band members are getting the chance of a lifetime later this year as members of the Etowah Youth Symphony Orchestra and Etowah Symphonic Wind Ensemble, in Gadsden.
Corey Butts plays trumpet for the AHS Marching Band. He is the 13-year-old son of Brad and Sebrina Crosby and Jeff and Miranda Butts. He is a freshman at Ashville High.
Katie Peaspanen plays the flute for the AHS Marching Band. She is the 15-year-old daughter of Karl and Jalene Peaspanen, and a sophomore at Ashville High.
Both auditioned for the Etowah Youth Symphony Orchestra and Etowah Symphonic Wind Ensemble out of Gadsden. They were required to play scales, sight read a piece and play a prepared piece to show off their “unique skills.”
Butts played Styx’s “Come Sail Away” — one of the pieces the AHS Marching Band will perform this fall — as his prepared piece. Peaspanen played John Denver’s “Country Roads” for her prepared piece as a tribute to her uncle, Mike Gillum, who died July 1. It was his favorite song.
Both students were offered a chair in the Wind Ensemble. The trumpet section of the Orchestra is currently full, but the flute section has an opening, and Peaspanen was offered a chair in it as well. She auditioned for chair placements Monday.
Butts auditioned for his chair placement Aug. 14. First practice is Aug. 19, and their first concert is Nov. 4.
Michael Gagliardo is the music director and conductor of the Etowah Youth Orchestra. The Orchestra and Ensemble have traveled to many locations to play including Carnegie Hall (2002, 2007), Lincoln Center (1997), Kennedy Center (1999), England (2005), Costa Rica (2010) as well as concerts in St. Louis, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Washington, D.C.
This is a tremendous opportunity for both of these students. More information can be found at www.culturalarts.org/eyo.