It is the opportunity of a lifetime for a Jackson teenager. Monquez Ford, 17, is about to enter his senior year at Forest Hill High School on a high note.
Music from the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra fills the rehearsal hall at the Jackson Arts Center. Guiding the musicians is a guest conductor under the guidance of Crafton Beck, music director and official conductor of the symphony.
"Kind of took off when I was taking piano lessons at Power APAC and I started my love of music with piano and then it transferred into the violin, and now I get to do this," said Ford.
Ford plays several instruments.
"I don't really count piano because I never took it all the way through but I play french horn and I play violin," said Ford.
He says he learned he would have the opportunity to conduct the symphony at the annual Pepsi Pops concert at school.
"And I was so flabbergasted that my mouth flew open and he was like are you still on the phone? I was like yes, yes I would love to do this, but you have to talk to my mom," said Ford.
The teenager says he has always dreamed of being a member of the orchestra.
"To get ready I've been watching conductors like Dudamel and he's really, really good," said Ford.
So what are the most important things for a conductor to remember?
"You know you have to be able to feel it sometimes, so you have to make sure you put the pulse into the music," said Ford.
Ford's immediate family will join hundreds of other fans and supporters to hear the musicians and to see the skill, artistry and fortissimo. That means very loud. And it's a term every conductor knows or a young conductor in training.
This will be the 31st year for Pepsi Pops. Gates open Friday evening at 4:30 at Old Trace Park on the Reservoir.
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Monday, May 20 2013 11:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:48:15 GMT
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(WMC-TV) - Arlington High School senior Taylor Flake thought she was making history when her classmates elected her to be the school's first African-American class president. "It's more than just me representingMore >>
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