Excellent! Return of the youth orchestra
LIMA – It has been a long time coming.
Fans of the orchestra, lovers of Christmas tunes and anyone who likes to see the children get up and do what they love in front of the crowd had much to celebrate on Sunday. It was then that the Lima Region Youth Orchestra held its Christmas concert at Lima High School to the delight of a captivated audience.
The popular event that brings together students from the area’s school cluster as well as a handful of homeschooled students was canceled last year due to COVID-19. Co-director Joseph MacBenn was delighted to see the band come out to a live audience to perform for the first time in a long time.
“It was amazing. It’s been a while since this band had a gig,” MacBenn said. “Coming back with a live audience, it’s so good to get back into the beat and do wow, there are people here and they can see it and hear it and appreciate everything that is going on. It was really nice to see that.
This year’s Christmas program was presented by students from 10 different schools as well as homeschooled students.
The band quickly took the nervousness out of performing in front of a full house and sounded like they’d been taking orchestral and orchestral lessons in the same neighborhood all of their lives.
“Yeah, I think they seemed nervous at first,” MacBenn said. “Who wouldn’t, this was the first time they had played together as a band. They got over that nervousness very quickly and behaved wonderfully.
The youth orchestra played for about an hour and covered nine classic Christmas songs, such as Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer and the Sleigh Ride.
Bluffton Freshman Micah Fultz, a percussionist, was just happy to have the opportunity to be on stage.
“I loved seeing the faces in the crowd,” Fultz said. “Especially those of my mother and my father. They gave me a lot of support and I’m glad they came out tonight, they are great parents.
MacBenn says community support is what makes the group’s programs special and being able to come back to them has made all the difference to him. He also mentioned his gratitude to the orchestra’s sponsors.
I am grateful to the parents of all families and friends who have come here and seen us tonight and I am grateful for the opportunity to do so, ”said MacBenn. Many thanks to the Lima Symphony, the Noon Optimists and the local Freemasons Chapter for helping us, it is simply exceptional. That’s wonderful.”
The Lima Region Youth Orchestra held its Christmas performance on Sunday after it canceled last year due to COVID-19.