Students take part in ‘String Fling’
The strings program in the Basehor-Linwood School District has been building for six years and is now more than 175 students strong. Under the direction of Paul Wilburn, this group has performed at numerous venues locally, yet the largest performance remains String Fling. This year, String Fling will be Jan. 15-16, and more than half of the district's 175 musicians will perform alongside students from across the state.
"String Fling is a wonderful educational opportunity for K-9 students that is held at Kansas State University," Wilburn said. "The event gives students the opportunity to practice in a large group rehearsal as well as be directed by clinicians, culminating in a performance in front of a large audience in a concert hall."
This year's primary clinician is a well-known conductor, Larry Williams. Williams is the former president of the Kansas Music Educators Association and has been a guest conductor/clinician in 11 Midwestern states. Under his direction, groups have performed at the 1976 Bicentennial celebration, the Kennedy Center and at the Chicago International Band and Orchestra Clinic.
"I am excited to attend String Fling this year," said Geneva Claflin, sixth grade viola player. "We will get to play as a group every day and have the chance to learn from others in the group."
The two-day event, which includes grade-level concerts at McCain Auditorium at KSU on Jan. 16, is just one tool Wilburn is using to build his strings program. He also recently implemented strolling strings, and the first full pit orchestra performed during the fall performance of "The Sound of Music."
"The addition of the strings program to the Basehor-Linwood district really completes the music program," Wilburn said. "We plan on having strings in grades 4-12 in the next few years and eventually we would like to have a symphony orchestra."
For more information, contact Wilburn at (913) 724-2266.