A member of the Etowah Youth Orchestra, Katie stays busy getting ready for the group’s concerts. The EYO 2012-2013 season has the theme “Sound and Vision” featuring the Etowah Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Etowah Symphonic Wind Ensemble. On Dec. 15 she played in the group’s Rock ‘n Roll Christmas Concert at Wallace Hall in Gadsden, and this fall on Nov.4 at Wallace Hall for the EYO Fall Formal Concert. Leading up to April 28, Katie, a junior at The Donoho School, will by preparing for EYO’s Spring Formal Concert, also at Wallace Hall. The program tentatively is including music by Pavel Tschesnokoff, Henry Fillmore, and Antonin Dvorak. She plays the piano, flute, clarinet, and guitar.
Winter break is on now for EYO members, but not for long. Katie can count on rehearsing for EYO, and she’s grateful for the opportunity.
“I’m very happy to be playing with such a professional group, and to be able to use my gift from God,” she said.
The EYO occupies the former Temple Beth Israel in Gadsden which was renamed The Music Center at Temple Beth Israel. The young orchestra members are selected after auditions each year.
Dr. Jeremy Benson, who teaches flute and music history at JSU – and he is Katie’s teacher – is impressed with her work. “She’s a talented young lady, and always prepared,” he said. “Whenever there’s lots of work to be done, she’s ready to face it, head on.”
Katie, also an actress, has played roles in CAST, including “It’s A Wonderful Life,” and in Donoho’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” last year.
Kristen was in “A Christmas Carol” at Donoho, and helped with backstage management for “A Christmas Story.” Kristin and Katie were also in “The Wizard of Oz” at Donoho last spring. Also, Kristin sings with the Donoho High School Choir.
CAST’s last play, “A Christmas Story,” featured Jim Athon as The Old Man (the father of Ralphie.) His other CAST credits include “It’s A Wonderful Life,” and “Miracle on 34th Street, “for which he won a Randy award. Audiences saw him in “Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” and “Higher Place in Heaven,” one of CAST’s first plays.
Jim has also been in a locally produced movie, and considers it a great learning experience. “The Unreignable Compulsion, “written and directed by Jason LaRay of Birmingham, was filmed in this area. One of the locations was Dorsey’s Supermarket; here, Athon portrayed the grocery store manager. The director is hoping to enter the movie in the Sundance Film Festival.
Kim, who was also in CAST’s “A Christmas Story” as Mrs. Schwartz. “She is passionate,” stated the printed program about Kim for the play, “about volunteer work, student ministry, and of course, Alabama football!” Kim and Charis also sing in the Golden Springs Baptist Choir.
Kim and the three girls will volunteer this month with the nonprofit organization Give Kids the World Village. It is a resort near Orlando, Florida, where children with life-threatening sicknesses and their families are treated to cost-free, week- long stays to enjoy fantasy vacations.
The village is operated by a small professional staff, augmented by thousands of volunteers each year.
The area is fortunate to have them, for their contributions help fuel ongoing arts and entertainment for all who like live performances.
Best wishes for the New Year to the Athons!