Pictured are some of the students from the various ensembles posing at the Infamous Gallery. (Photo courtesy Jeremiah Smallridge)

Tune in: Local youth ensembles to perform two free, unique concerts this spring

TENNERTON — The director of choir and orchestra at Buckhannon-Upshur High School is announcing two exciting upcoming concerts featuring student musicians.

Jeremiah Smallridge, Director of Choir and Orchestra at B-UHS, said the first concert, set for Friday, March 29, is a benefit concert to help The Infamous Art Collective with operational costs as it continues with its outstanding work.

“Both of their daughters are in the music program, so we thought it would be a nice way to help the gallery with operational costs as it prepares to move into its new space,” Smallridge said. “The concert will be free, but donations will be encouraged and welcomed.”

The benefit concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 29, at the Colonial Arts Center. The ensembles performing that evening will be the B-U SoundWaves, the B-U Jazz Band, the B-U Rock Band, and the B-U Orchestra.

“We don’t have the official rock band class anymore, but we do have some advanced students in the guitar class who have started acting as a rock band, so they’re going to have their premiere performance that evening as well,” Smallridge said. “It’s going to be about an hour long, and it’s just a fun way for folks to come out and hear some music while supporting a good cause.”

The second event is the school district’s first-ever All-County Choir, which will feature singers from Upshur County elementary schools, Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, Buckhannon-Upshur High School, and even some from West Virginia Wesleyan College. That concert — scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9 — will take place in the B-UHS Auditorium.

Smallridge said the performance will be the first of its kind.

“The high school, middle school and advanced college choir will each perform some of the songs by themselves, and then the elementary school kids will join us for three pieces that will feature everybody,” he said. “It’s just a fun way to celebrate choral music in the county, let the kids hear each other and maybe get the younger kids excited about singing when they reach middle school and high school, or even college. It’s designed to be just a nice celebration of music.”

The April 9 concert will also be free and open to the public, but donations of any amount are welcomed.

Smallridge has been hoping to organize an All-County Choir for some time.

“We’ve seen other counties do it, and it’s something we’ve been thinking about doing for a while,” he said. “I said, ‘You know what? We can make this happen.'”

The 2023-2024 school year marks Smallridge’s 10th at the high school, and he taught and directed at Buckhannon Academy Elementary School for seven years prior.

News Feed