Megan Walls, second from right, of Ticonderoga, a graduate music student at Illinois State University, has organized a concert by the Snow Bones Trombone Ensemble. The show will be Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Ticonderoga and will benefit the Moriah Central School women’s chorus, which is raising money for a trip and performance at Disney World this spring.
A Ticonderoga graduate is coming home to perform a benefit for Moriah students.
Megan Walls, a graduate music student at Illinois State University, has organized a concert by the Snow Bones Trombone Ensemble.
The show will be Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Ticonderoga and will benefit the Moriah Central School women’s chorus, which is raising money for a trip and performance at Disney World this spring.
“The concert is free, but all donations will be going to help cover expenses for the trip,” Walls said.
Walls, who earned a bachelor’s degree in music at the College of Saint Rose and is now pursuing a master’s at Illinois State, contacted friends, organized the group and scheduled the performance.
“This year the ensemble consist of 12 trombones and a percussionist,” Walls said. “Five from the College of Saint Rose, two from the Crane School of Music (SUNY-Potsdam), two from the Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester), three from Illinois State University and one from the University of Southern Florida, who are majoring in music education, trombone performance, jazz trombone performance and music industry at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels. It's neat to have such a wide age span and that half the ensemble has never met each other before. It’ll be a good experience for the group to get to know each other and an opportunity to learn what is going on at other colleges.”
The Moriah Central School women’s choir has been selected to perform at Disney in Orlando, Fla., as part of the Disney Performing Arts Program.
The Moriah women’s choir features 25 students in grades 7 to 12 under the direction of April Reeder. As part of the Disney Performing Arts Program, the Moriah singers will travel to Disney World and perform on stage for visitors to the theme park.
The performance at Disney will require a lot of rehearsals — and money. The Moriah choir must raise about $28,000 to cover the costs of the trip.
Reeder and Walls are friends.
“April was so excited the day she found out that the girls had made it through the audition, I wasn’t allowed to move before she had told me the whole story,” Walls said. “She was glowing and extremely proud of what her kids had accomplished.”
Walls promised Reeder she would help in any way possible.
“We were at a conference a couple weeks before school started and we were talking about the fundraisers and what the kids were doing currently to raise money,” Walls recalled. “I told her then that if there was a Snow Bones concert that winter, I wasn’t even sure if we had a group at that point, that we would do it as a benefit concert for the chorus.”
Walls contacted trombone-playing friends, asking if they would be willing to do a benefit concert.
“I was surprised at how many people were interested and I knew then that we had a group,” Walls said. “I also decided, since this might be the last tour I organize, that I would go all out and invite trombonists from other schools. I sent over 10 emails to universities and community colleges all over the north east and I received more emails with interested students. Unfortunately, school isn’t ending until Dec. 23 at a few of the schools, so we lost a couple there. But for having a tour so close to Christmas, I think we had a good turn out.”
As long as the music students are together, Walls explained, they’ll do more than the Ti performance.
“The tour will be lasting for six days,” she said. “Two days of rehearsal at the College of Saint Rose and the other four days we will be playing and giving master classes at over 10 schools in the Albany and Upstate New York areas, as well as giving two night concerts. One in Ticonderoga on the 21st and the other in Albany at Saint Peter’s Church, 7 p.m. on Dec. 20. It'll be six exhausting, but highly-rewarding days and the group is really looking forward to the experience.”
The ensemble will visit Ticonderoga High School, St. Mary’s School in Ticonderoga, Willsboro Central School and Westport Central School as part of its tour.
The Ticonderoga concert will feature the Tommy Pederson Christmas Quintets, the Jacob’s Octet, the Hartley Canzona, the Adventures of the Escapist and more.
The concert in Ticonderoga will also include a special grand finale which will feature students from local schools as well as members of the community along with the trombone ensemble.
“It’ll be an exciting night and we hope that you will come out and join us,” Walls said.