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HPMH partners with counties for outreach -11/19/2014, 3:49 PM

Kansas Next Step announces honors -11/19/2014, 2:09 PM

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'Big Hero 6' is slightly under-inflated -11/18/2014, 9:15 AM

KHP gives tips for safe Thanksgiving travel -11/17/2014, 1:06 PM

Latest donations move FHSU closer to goal -11/17/2014, 1:06 PM

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Great American Smokeout is Thursday -11/17/2014, 11:35 AM

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Moran receives Legislator of Year Award from home care association -11/17/2014, 11:26 AM

Hammond named to fraternity commission -11/17/2014, 9:45 AM

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Community Bulletin Board (Nov. 17, 2014) -11/17/2014, 9:26 AM

Get the most from grazing crop residue -11/16/2014, 5:35 PM

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God and Ebola -11/14/2014, 9:05 AM

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10 tips for stress-free Thanksgiving cooking, planning -11/13/2014, 8:30 AM

Do you need that annual mammogram? -11/12/2014, 11:52 AM

'Warcraft' preview stirs excitement; 'Interstellar' is solid -11/11/2014, 8:40 AM

Favorite coffee cake and being introduced to Sassy Sundae -11/11/2014, 8:40 AM

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Time for film's encore, German cooking at library -11/10/2014, 9:09 AM

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Westview hosting youth lock-in -11/7/2014, 8:22 AM

A prayer that stands the test of time still holds true today -11/7/2014, 8:22 AM

Extension program gives tech tips for parents -11/6/2014, 9:24 AM

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Foreigners must report land holdings -11/5/2014, 3:39 PM

Jana's Campaign fundraiser nets $33,000 -11/5/2014, 10:29 AM

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Gloria's birthday present, followed by barbecue pizza -11/4/2014, 8:41 AM

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After 5 gathering Nov. 10 in Hays -10/31/2014, 7:50 AM

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Gella's to show Turning Points film encore -10/30/2014, 1:53 PM

State's Cold Weather Rule takes effect Saturday -10/29/2014, 9:33 AM

'John Wick' is efficient excitement for flick -10/28/2014, 9:07 AM

Serving up homemade cinnamon rolls -10/28/2014, 9:07 AM

Hansen Foundation awards grant to HaysMed Foundation -10/27/2014, 10:20 AM

HaysMed's cardiovascular-stroke team earns award -10/27/2014, 10:11 AM

Signs of suicide in teens should be dealt with quickly -10/27/2014, 8:58 AM

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Rosary rally takes place in Liebenthal -10/24/2014, 8:37 AM

Pink Impact conference coming to North Oak -10/24/2014, 8:37 AM

Living by the law of love in today's society -10/24/2014, 8:37 AM

Dominican Sisters host annual mission benefit bazaar -10/24/2014, 8:37 AM

'The Ogallala Road' author to speak at FHSU -10/23/2014, 9:40 AM

Industry support leads to welding awards for NCK Tech -10/23/2014, 9:24 AM

Birthday -10/23/2014, 9:24 AM

Natoma group elects new officers -10/23/2014, 9:24 AM

Tricks to making jams and jellies for holiday giving -10/23/2014, 9:24 AM

'Fury' is visceral and slightly shapeless -10/22/2014, 10:20 AM

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2014 Kansas Speaks Survey finds wide dissatisfaction with politics -10/17/2014, 3:54 PM

Stamper memorial scholarship awarded at KSU -10/17/2014, 2:24 PM

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Phillipsburg couple part of new Beach museum exhibit -10/15/2014, 4:25 PM

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'Gone Girl' jump starts end-of-the-year cinema -10/7/2014, 10:04 AM

Amish PTA and fried rice -10/7/2014, 8:16 AM

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Hays After 5 meeting Oct. 13 -10/3/2014, 8:49 AM

Ellis County FSA with limited staff this week -10/2/2014, 1:56 PM

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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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