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For one night, high-school orchestra will rock

by The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | April 13, 2010 at 11:11 a.m.

For the third year now, central Arkansas high school-age classical musicians are coming together for one night to don their most outlandish threads, bare an unnatural snarl and rock out with bona fide rockers, as Bobby Ampezzan reports in Wednesday’s Family section. The Youth Rock Orchestra is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Robinson Center Music Hall in Little Rock.

Marquis Hunt, 41, one of the professional musicians who will play alongside the high school kids in the rock orchestra, was an all-state musician at Dumas High School in the ’80s before he became a professional studio and performing saxophonist. And did he get his props?

“Oh, no, no, no,” he says. “High school musicians don’t get such esteem. We don’t get our esteem until you’re out of high school and maybe in college, perhaps. We’re pretty much geeks and nerds, which goes to some of the motivation of what [Youth Rock Orchestra creator Heather] Isbell is offering. I think this gives high school kids a way to acquire cool points while they’re still in school.”

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