The Roaring Fork High School Music dept. will present a free Winter Concert on Thursday, December 17th at 7 p.m. in the RFHS Auditeria. The RFHS Choir will perform under the direction of Ms. Shanti Gruber. The RFHS Jazz band under the direction of Alex Heaton will perform “Blue Train” and Curtis Fullers’ “Alamode.” The RFHS Ram Band under the direction of Mean Ol’ Mr. Gray will perform “Highlander,” by Carl Strommen, “Pavanne, by Gabriel Faure’, “A Bridge to Somewhere,” by Jon Phelps, and “Songs of the Basque,” by Gregory Rudgers. Musical guests included the The Bel Canto Childrens Choir and the Carbondale Middle School Beginning Band.
The french horn isn’t the most popular band instrument, but Roaring Fork High School senior and fifth generation native Robbie Thompson wouldn’t trade it for anything.
In addition to playing the horn, Thompson is an active member of student council and National Honor Society, runs cross country and track, and has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
He spoke to the Post Independent on why he’s been pursuing the instrument for the past eight years.
Post Independent: How did you decide to play the horn?
Robbie Thompson: I started playing trumpet in 5th grade. Mr. Gray suggested I try the French horn for a day just to give it a try and I just fell in love with it. I really enjoy the sound. It’s really crisp and clear and you can do so much with it.
PI: Do you find a role for the horn in high school band?
RT: Mr. Gray makes sure we’re well rounded. We play a lot of classical, and there are also jazz arrangements that accommodate for the French horn. There are some times when I have to write out my own piece.
PI: Why do you think more students don’t take up the horn?
RT: It’s pretty difficult to play. There’s a lot to pick up and keep track of as a beginner. The posture is complicated. There’s a string element because of the way the valves are controlled. Even just the way that you hold the bell can produce a flat or sharper sound.
PI: Do you think you’ll continue that after high school?
RT: I was planning on either playing in a marching band or maybe a symphony wherever I end up going to college.
PI: Anything else you think people ought to know?
RT: It’s always nice to have community support. I know Mr. Gray works really hard to showcase student talent. It would be nice to see as many people as we can at our concerts.
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Never ending winter: Aspen Skiing Co. announced it will open 130 acres on Aspen Mountain for skiing and snowboarding from May 25 to 27.