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Washington Voices

Mead sophomore is symphony’s winning essayist


William Henzler, a sophomore at Mead High School, has won the Spokane Symphony’s 2012 high school essay contest. Henzler entered the contest for extra credit on a humanities assignment. Henzler will be acknowledged during Sunday’s symphony concert at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox.

Henzler’s favorite subject in school is English, and his goal is to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a neurologist. He plans to enroll in the Running Start program at Spokane Falls Community College and then Whitworth University.

In his free time Henzler enjoys tennis, sings in a choir, is a youth leader at his church, Calvary Spokane, and is teaching himself to play the piano.

“If I were conductor of the Spokane Symphony…”

By William Henzler

Honestly, not being a symphony person, I’ve never been too excited to attend a concert. People today are far more interested in checking what’s on television, their Facebook page, or their favorite song playlist. It’s unusual for teens to be listening to Bach, “The Flight of the Bumblebee” or “Fantasia” on their iPod. So, why is this a problem? People our age should be exposed to entertainment that differs from the norm and clichés of society. We need to turn off the TV, power down computers, silence cellphones and find something that helps us communicate emotion and passion. Even though that might not be “cool,” I believe many would appreciate the symphony far more than they expect.

But how to achieve this? If I were the conductor of the Spokane Symphony, I would take action to increase interest in symphonic music. I would increase publicity. Put up billboards, print fliers and leave pamphlets on doors. Public performances would show the people what the Spokane Symphony can do. In addition, I would get involved in charities, schools and nursing homes. Going to the audience is a great way to get people talking. Children will tell their parents, senior citizens will recount to their children and performing for a local charity is a tried-and-true method of declaring the symphony’s desire to share their talents. Finally, I would start theme nights. Having a concert centered on a foreign art style, a symbol, or genre of music is an enthusiastic motivator to get people of different ages, backgrounds and interests to come to concerts.

The Spokane Symphony is a wonderful group full of talent and a love for the beauty and art of music. Encouraging others to realize its lure and charm is an important task. Yet it will change people for the better. And that is what music is all about.

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