October 20, 2015

MASON, OH –  Mars Hill Academy fourth grader and beginning cello player Flora Baker of Lebanon was thrilled to be on stage with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra last week during the Big Bad Brass Bash Young People’s Concert presented by the CSO at Music Hall.  She was one of 18 MHA fourth graders who sang and modeled hand motions for the sing-along portion of the program for about 2,000 students from around the Cincinnati area.

 “My grandfather plays in an orchestra, but this one was definitely bigger,” said Baker, who has played violin since she was six and just started the cello.  “It was really cool to be up there with them.”

 CSO’s Associate Conductor Keitaro Harada visited Baker’s class at Mars Hill Academy in Mason prior to the concert to meet the students and teach them the song, “Bonhomme, Bonhomme,” which spotlights the horn, trumpet, trombone, and tuba.

 “I had a blast collaborating with the 4B class at Mars Hill Academy,” said Harada.  “Their performance was spectacular and I was honored to share my debut with the CSO with Mars Hill Academy musicians! Bravi Tutti!”

 The students were fast learners, since the classical curriculum at MHA relies heavily on singing as part of the learning process.Students learn science, geography, Bible, grammar and even math rules through memorable songs and chants.

 “He was a lot more fun than I expected,” shared Baker.  “He helped us learn the song well so we wouldn’t be nervous when we were on the stage.”  For an aspiring young musician like Baker, sharing the stage with the CSO was truly inspirational.  “When I grow up, I would love to perform in a real orchestra like my grandfather does.”

Photo: Mars Hill Academy fourth graders took the stage with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra during Associate Conductor Keitaro Harada’s debut at the Big Bad Brass Bash Young People’s Concert presented by the CSO at Music Hall. The class helped lead the sing-along portion of the program.