Learning experience

RFMS and RFHS band students and staff took a large group picture before heading inside the performing arts center at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.

All Rockport-Fulton Middle School (RFMS) and Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) band students attended a performance by the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra Saturday, Jan. 8 at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi’s Performing Arts Center.

The trip was fully funded by the Aransas County Independent School District (ACISD) Education Foundation.

RFHS Band Director Ryan Thornberry said it was a great experience for his bands to watch a live performance by professionals playing music his students would recognize.

“The kids may never experience going to a symphony on their own throughout their lifetime unless you take them,” said Thornberry. “So when I saw it was going to be something that was relative, that they would recognize, I wanted them to get an experience of going to the symphony.”

The Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra’s performance was a tribute to famous composer John Williams. They played music from movies such as Harry Potter and Star Wars, all movies Williams composed music for.

The ACISD Education Foundation allowed Thornberry to use a treasure chest grant to help fund for each RFMS and RFHS band student to attend the concert.

“They helped me write grants for both the high school and the middle school and they paid for all the kids tickets,” said Thornberry.

In total, 260 tickets were purchased for the event. About 200 of the tickets were for band students, the rest were used for family members and staff attending the event.

Thornberry said taking his students to see a performance such as this is something he would love to make happen every year.

“It’s personal to me that I want to start doing this on a regular basis. Get them experiences of seeing a Broadway musical, a symphony,” said Thornberry. “I want them to be able to hear a higher level of playing and something to aspire to and see all the different ways they can actually perform.”

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