ALL-STATE ORCHESTRA HISTORY (Part II)NOTES DA CAPO - By Clifford Brown and Patricia Green
The 16th annual All-State Orchestra concert was held in the Morgantown High School Auditorium 18 April 1947 with Dr. John Warren Erb again as director. I had the privilege of being concertmaster for the orchestra that year, and I remember that Dr. Erb needed help to step on and off the podium because of his advanced years--BUT--he was still able to "crack the whip," and did we work! The program that year was: Overture to Egmont by Beethoven, Prelude to Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinek, "Karelia Suite" by Sibelius, "Minuetto in Bb" by Bolsoni, "Minuet in G" for string choir by Valensin. and the "Procession of the Grail" from Wagner's Parsifal.
As I consider the schools and teachers represented, I have fond memories of out- standing teachers who left strong impressions on me because of their musicianship, integrity, love for music, and their love, concern, and patience for music students leaming the art of making music. These persons included Glenn Sallack of Beckley; Richard Wellock of Beaver High, Bluefield; Frank Gelber of Parkersburg; Karl Brown of Spencer; C.W. Brown of University High, Morgantown; and John Brisbane of St. Marys.
At that time I did not know that in 1952 and 1953 1 would be preparing students from St. Marys High School for All-State Orchestra. Schools represented in the orchestra for 1947 were: Beckley (Glenn Sallack), Beaver, Bluefield (Richard Wellock), Charleston (John Hiersoux), Stonewall Jackson (Julian Spencer), Washington Irving, Clarksburg (Henry Mayer), DuPont (L.L. Carson), EMns (C.H. Siedoff), Elkhorn (Elizabeth Jackson), Huntington East (Leland Arnold), Huntington (Leland Arnold), Parkersburg (Frank Gelber), Morgantown (Enunet Sinnnons), University, Morgantown (C.W. Brown), Sistersville (E.E. Van Horn), South Charleston (O.E. Raspellaire), Spencer (Karl Brown), St. Marys (John Brisbane), Terra Alta (Mrs. McConnell). I remember that only schools which had string players could enter students who played brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments.
As stated, my next acquaintance with the All-State Orchestra was as an instructor. After those two years I had very little connection with the orchestra except as a listener. It is common knowledge that the orchestra-- particularly strings--hit bottom for a few years, but with the resurgence of strings throughout the country and the hard work of dedicated string and orchestra directors throughout the state it has more recently made steady progress - year after year.