Extra Credit: Overton Wind Ensemble

By Kym Clark - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - How do you get to Carnegie Hall? As the old joke goes, "practice, practice, practice." That's just what the Overton High School Wind Ensemble has been doing.

Dr. Reginald Houze is the conductor. "The group is an audition group of 50 of the top brass wind, wood wind and percussion players here at Overton."

The ensemble is getting ready for their concert debut at New York City's historic Carnegie Hall, a long held dream of Senior flutist Kimberly Thomely. "And ever since I was a little girl, I've always dreamed of going to Carnegie Hall. It's everybody's passion. When they think of music they think of Carnegie Hall"

The Overton Wind Ensemble is one of only four groups invited to perform a concert at Carnegie as part of the New York Band and Orchestra Festival.

The trip is even a "once in a lifetime" moment for Dr. Houze. "This is certainly a milestone in my musical life and I'm thrilled and overjoyed to be able to lead these students, to encourage them and to share in this opportunity with them."

Many of the students find it hard to believe that they'll soon be playing on the world's premier stage.

Junior trumpet player James Guy calls it surreal, "And just to be on the same stage as Leonard Bernstein or Gustav Mauler or Dizzy Gillespie, I mean, vocalists that are world renown, and I get to perform on the same stage as them. That is such a privilege and honor."

The New York Band and Orchestra Festival is slated for June and has previously hosted musicians from some of the finest programs around the world.

The Overton Wind Ensemble plans to bide time and prepare for the experience by performing at several Memphis area churches until their trip.

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