Local Paper Covers Washington DC Trip

Click here to view article on Plain Dealer's website

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Undeterred by adversity, JCHS Orchestra forges a most memorable and positive trip

Tracy Eder

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Members of the Jennings County High School orchestra warm up before their performance at the Lincoln Memorial during their trip to Washington, DC. Pictured are, from left to right, Shania Simpson, Jacob Doty, Dakota Bishop, Harrison Randall, Caleb Smith, Cody Smith, Garret Smith (hidden) and Leann West. Not pictured is the crowd of tourists who gathered to watch and listen.—Submitted Photos
Eric Jarboe, leader of the JCHS Orchestra, left, shakes hands with CO4 Dennis Scott a resident of the Fairfax Veterans’ Retirement Home after the orchestra performed. Members of the orchestra agreed that their performance at the Fairfax was the most memorable event of their trip. CO4 Scott, who is originally from Brownstown, fondly remembers Charles Hurley and Don Pelkey, former administrators at JCHS.
The string orchestra of Jennings County High School, approximately 47 students in all, 30 chaperones and a small film crew, left the high school Wednesday, April 18 at 10 p.m. for the Cherry Blossom Festival that was taking place in Washington, D.C.

According to orchestra leader Eric Jarboe, "This trip had more adversity than any previous trip we have ever taken."

From the beginning of the trip when a bus broke down, to there being no cherries in bloom in the capital due to a warm March, until Jarboe himself ended up in an emergency room at a hospital, the trip proved a trying experience. But according to Jarboe, "The students all had great attitudes and came together as a musical unit in a very positive way."

When one of the two buses broke down at a West Virginia travel plaza on their way east, members of the orchestra had to wait for alternate transportation. What better way to kill time than to give an impromptu concert at a rest stop in the hills of West Virginia, entertaining other weary travelers?

"We had a lot of time on our hands and we got to know one another a lot more," says Leann West, a senior member of the orchestra.

"We bonded a lot like a family," agreed Tara Tucker, a freshman. Not only was it fun for the members of the local orchestra, those driving into the rest stop were in for quite a treat. "We even wrote our own songs and sang them," said West.

When it was determined the problem bus could not be immediately repaired, all of the orchestra members and a few of the chaperones boarded the first bus and headed on to Washington, D.C. The remaining chaperones rested in a hotel until yet another bus arrived from Illinois to haul them to the naton's capitol.

This unexpected delay cost the group about eight hours and forced the cancellation of several activities that had been planned. Undeterred, the group was still able to sight see quite a bit of Washington's famous venues, including the Vietnam War Memorial, Ford Theatre, Arlington National Cemetery and the Smithsonian.

The main purpose of the trip, though, was to perform. And perform they did! The orchestra held two concerts Friday, one at Quantico Marine Museum and the other at the Fairfax Veterans' Retirement Home. On Saturday, they performed at the Lincoln Memorial.

All of the students agreed that out of the three concerts, the highlight of their trip was performing for the residents at the Fairfax. Their concert consisted of songs for each branch of the military.

While they played each song, retired veterans of that particular branch stood and sang aloud. According to Amber Lovegrove, a member of the orchestra, "Many of the residents would cry when they sang their song. Then there we were crying right along with them."

Around midnight Saturday, was when Jarboe made his trip to the emergency room. Although he was released, the return trip took longer than originally anticipated due to the frequent required to keep their fearless leader comfortable. They arrived back at the high school at 2 a.m. and approximately half of the students were hearty enough to show up for school Monday morning.

Both Garret Smith and Kate Eastman simply summed up the trip in six words: "It was a lot of fun!"

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JCHS Orchestra to Participate in National Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossoms in DC

While in Washington DC, the Orchestra will get to perform as part of the centennial celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival!

This is a great honor and will make the trip even more memorable for the students. 


Park Theater advertises upcoming orchestra concert

While searching for images online, I stumbled across the website for the North Vernon Park Theater and the very nice front page spread advertising the upcoming Jennings County High School Orchestra Concert at the theater.




This Monday, the JCHS Orchestra will perform alongside professional musician Cathy Morris and her band at their annual fall concert.  All the songs played will be original compositions by Cathy Morris that can be found on any of her nine published CDs.  We had the privilege to film Cathy a couple weeks ago while she worked with the orchestra students on songs for the concert.  We will also be filming the rehearsal prior to the concert and then the concert itself on Monday.  

If you are in the Jennings County area and have never been to a Cathy Morris concert, Monday's event is one you don't want to miss!  Here is something an orchestra parent wrote on Cathy's website when Cathy last performed with the JCHS Orchestra in 2007:


 “I’m the proud Mother of one of the privileged violinists that you performed with last night. I just had to let you know that you are absolutely Awesome! You gave me goosebumps throughout the evening and my jaws hurt from the smile I couldn’t control. I never dreamed our youngest Daughter would enjoy music as much as I do. You have inspired her to take it as far as her heart desires! Thank You for a once in a lifetime adventure!”

Heidi, parent, Jennings County High School

 WHAT: Cathy Morris and Friends with the JCHS Orchestra

WHERE: JCHS Don Pelkey Auditorium

WHEN: Monday, November 14, 7:00 PM

TICKETS: Adult - $8.00  Student - $4.00

We'll see you there!



Jennings County School Board Approves Documentary

On Monday, August 22, Alburn and Kelsy presented the documentary project to the Jennings County School Board. At the conclusion of the presentation, Superintendent Dr. Sargent motioned for a vote to support the documentary. The school board voted unanimously to approve support for the Music Man documentary.

Moving forward, on August 29, Alburn and Kelsy will be presenting the documentary to the high school orchestra students and their parents. After that, it's into the school to start filming the orchestra classes!

Stay tuned for more exciting news and updates!