By Chris Day
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Sunday was a perfect day for an outdoor concert. It was sunny and warm. Fortunately, the Stillwater High Orchestra filled the air around Ingham Park with classical and pop music for approximately an hour.
It was the orchestra’s second concert at Ingham Park. In September 2012, orchestra and audience members shivered beneath overcast skies with temperatures in the 50s.
It was much easier to perform Sunday, said Stillwater High senior Chad Kenkel, who plays bass.
“Last year was very, very cold. This year was much better weather. The instruments had a hard time with the cold last year,” Kenkel said.
The outdoor concert lets the orchestra reach a different audience — people who might not come to concerts at the high school, Kenkel said.
Stillwater High School Orchestra Director Scott Jackson told the audience outdoor concerts are less formal. He said it was OK to visit the band booster concession area to purchase cold drinks and food during the concert.
Some of the approximately 400 audience members purchased drink or food, but most sat in lawn chairs or on blankets and enjoyed the music.
It is a valuable experience for the orchestra, Jackson said. They learn to ignore distractions and focus on their performance.
The Westwood Neighborhood Association helped sponsor Sunday’s concert. The neighborhood borders the Oklahoma State University campus and is home to Westwood Elementary, Association acting secretary Bob Graalman said.
“We are really happy anytime we can showcase our commitment to the cultural life and entertainment of this area of the city,” Graalman said.
The association works to ensure the quality of life in the Westwood neighborhood, Graalman said.
“We want to thank the school system, the music department and everyone who came out to support this wonderful event. It is one of the things that makes Stillwater a great community in which to live,” Graalman said, adding the organization wants the concert to continue as an annual event and has plans for other events as well.