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Parents can teach children skills for coping with stress -4/21/2014, 4:38 PM

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Roadwork to begin in Phillips/Smith counties -4/18/2014, 4:45 PM

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New ponies, warmer weather welcome in spring -4/15/2014, 8:47 AM

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Winners chosen for Hays art exhibition -4/10/2014, 12:12 PM

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God brings life to dry bones -4/4/2014, 8:27 AM

Aging issues addressed in April Extension programs -4/3/2014, 9:51 AM

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Power of vegetables and fruits -3/27/2014, 8:46 AM

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Families need to find proper ways to deal with stress -3/23/2014, 9:20 AM

Birthday -3/19/2014, 9:19 AM

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Propane refill hits budget; hog butchering on tap -3/11/2014, 3:03 PM

Workplace, workforce sees changes through decades -3/10/2014, 9:56 AM

The Church is called to reflect Jesus outside of church -3/7/2014, 3:49 PM

Extension workshop features estate planning -3/6/2014, 3:49 PM

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Change your clocks, smoke alarm batteries -3/4/2014, 3:49 PM

Winter blues continue for Eicher family -3/4/2014, 1:53 PM

KDOT announces approved February bids -3/3/2014, 4:28 PM

K-23 pavement replacement project to begin -3/3/2014, 4:19 PM

Celtic guitarist Barlow performing at library -3/2/2014, 4:10 PM

Walk Kansas program offers health benefits -3/2/2014, 12:08 PM

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Preserving the Family planning event March 14 -2/27/2014, 3:49 PM

Nex-Tech hosting Tech Edge Conference in June -2/27/2014, 4:28 PM

-2/27/2014, 7:54 AM

Student graphic designs featured in exhibit -2/26/2014, 3:49 PM

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Birthdays -2/24/2014, 11:21 AM

Extension offers financial planning programs -2/20/2014, 9:56 AM

FHSU alum to host pitch fundraiser -2/20/2014, 9:56 AM

Program to focus on parenting teenagers -2/20/2014, 9:56 AM

Snow continues to pile up for Eichers as they hope for warmth -2/18/2014, 4:44 PM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 16, 2014) -2/16/2014, 2:53 PM

To strengthen relationships, celebrate success -2/14/2014, 10:04 AM

Sternberg Museum to offer summer camps -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

Natoma girl promotes state program -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

Hansen Museum displays students' artwork -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

Hays Symphony showcases 3 young artists -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

Hays Eagle Scout earns award -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

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Divorce can have dramatic effect on children -2/3/2014, 10:13 AM

Whitetail agent has message -2/2/2014, 4:00 PM

Hays native wins award at bioscience symposium -1/30/2014, 11:26 AM

Be aware of earned income tax credit -1/30/2014, 11:26 AM

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God gives us gifts, wants us to share with others -1/24/2014, 11:16 AM

Celebration Church announces new series service -1/24/2014, 11:16 AM

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Eicher family rings in New Year in style -1/21/2014, 8:48 AM

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Eichers gather as one big family for holiday -1/14/2014, 9:27 AM

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KDA creates easy-to-follow guidelines for farmers, ranchers -1/8/2014, 3:34 PM

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Kansas online tax filing now available through KS WebFile -1/6/2014, 4:22 PM

Rep. Huelskamp announces military academy nominations -1/6/2014, 2:42 PM

Traveling Lincoln Exhibition coming to Hays library -1/6/2014, 2:24 PM

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Kansas ends 2013 on target -12/31/2013, 3:02 PM

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Business Briefcase (Dec. 22, 2013) -12/22/2013, 11:19 AM

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Another year's FHSU graduates find 95-percent rate of success in jobs, advanced study -12/20/2013, 11:42 AM

Public record, Dec. 20, 2013 -12/20/2013, 10:42 AM

What the Bible says: Is it really OK to OMG? -12/20/2013, 10:05 AM

FUMC to host night service -12/20/2013, 10:04 AM

Nex-Tech Wireless hosts annual holiday toy drive -12/19/2013, 10:04 AM

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SPOTLIGHT
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Hays Symphony, FHSU choirs inspire all

Published on -5/16/2013, 9:44 AM

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A Saturday or two ago, the Hays Symphony Orchestra, the combined FHSU choirs and Smoky Hill Chorale, plus local and guest soloists, inspired each other and the audience in an unforgettable season-ending concert.

The semester's final concert is also a time for awards. Graduating senior Steven Cornwell won the Donald Stout Award for outstanding contributions to choral music, and violinist Naomi Kitzis won the Edwin Moyers award for excellent performance in the Hays Symphony Orchestra. Heartfelt congratulations to both, as well as to graduating senior Polly Li and all members of the class of 2013.

Piano soloist Irena Ravitskaya and the Hays Symphony, conducted by Benjamin Cline, gave an electrifying performance of the second piano concerto by Sergei Rachmaninov. It was one of those rare occasions when a concerto worked just as it should: The soloist inspired the orchestra and the orchestra inspired the soloist. They negotiated the sumptuous melodies (think of "All by Myself" or "Full Moon and Empty Arms," which both borrow themes from this concerto), lush harmonies and thrilling cadenzas with skill and feeling. There was a brief pause at the conclusion while the audience caught their breath, rose to their feet and rewarded the musicians with wave upon wave of applause replete with cries of bravo and stomping of feet.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Vesperae Solennes de Confessore" and "Solemn Vespers of the Confessor," an elaborate setting of six psalms for soloists, chorus and orchestra, comprised the rest of the program. Under the baton of choral director Terry Crull, all performed well and more than did justice to the work. The soloists, soprano Ivalah Allen; guest artist mezzo soprano Lee Ann Scherlong of Denver; tenor Joseph Perniciaro; and baritone Steven Taylor, also of Denver, did a fine job. Special praise to soprano Allen for flawlessly performing the elaborate cadenzas of her part (legend has it Mozart hated sopranos -- or maybe loved them). While the choral texts are sung without repetitions or ornaments, the contrapuntal composition of the individual parts, as well as the complexity of the orchestral component, belie their apparent simplicity. Both chorus and orchestra met the work's challenges with great success. The audience applauded their efforts with gusto.

Ruth Firestone is a supporter of music and theater in Hays. She can be contacted at rfiresto@fhsu.edu.

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