The Newton High School auditorium was transformed into a concert hall Monday morning, as musicians from the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra brought their violins, cellos, flutes and other instruments to the school to perform for students.

The concert marks the first time the orchestra has performed specifically for students during the school day. Orchestra manager Jill Gatz and director Thomas W. Douglas proposed the vision for a school outreach concert with USD 373 Superintendent Deb Hamm and school board member Barbara Bunting last July.

The special concert was open to all Newton USD 373 fifth grade students. The program featured the different sections of the orchestra on Coplandís "Fanfare for the Common Man," Barber's "Adagio for Strings," and a movement of Mozartís "Serenade for winds ĎGran Partita.í" The full orchestra then joined together for the rousing "William Tell Overture" and a special "Star Wars" medley.

The goal of the music selection by Maestro Douglas was to educate the students on the sounds and moods created by the different instrument families and to demonstrate their use in both classical and popular music.

NMKSO is made up of professional musicians, educators, advanced high school and college students, and community players. Many musicians from the 65 member ensemble took time out of their Monday morning schedules in order to participate.

To see more photos or a video of the orchestra, visit