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Happy campers
Summer youth programs in science, music, engineering and athletics make learning fun for hundreds of young students.

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Internships build partnerships with industry and often lead to permanent jobs.


Jazz with a German flair
Jazz Orchestra shines in Bad Königshofen, Arlington's sister city

 


On a bright Monday afternoon in the rolling green hills of central Germany, Bürgermeister (Mayor) Clemens Behr greeted the bus carrying UTA's Jazz Orchestra into the town square of Bad Königshofen.

The orchestra, under the direction of music Professor Bill Snodgrass, had completed three concerts in four days in Switzerland. In Bad Königshofen, it was to perform its most important gig-as part of a 50-year anniversary celebration.

Jazz Concert
A poster announces the Jazz Orchestra's performance in Bad Königshofen, Germany. Concert-goers demanded three encores.    

In 1951, the people of Arlington sent truckloads of food and clothing to a Königshofen devastated by World War II and the Cold War. The two became sister cities, starting a tradition of friendship that the UTA students were now expected to sustain as both musicians and diplomats.

The day of the concert began with a reception in the city council chambers. Picture taking preceded formal speeches, with Mayor Behr inviting the students to wear the chains of office while they posed with him and other officials.

One of the most privileged events for the students occurred in Bad Königshofen's recently named Arlington Park. Artists from the sister cities collaborating on a symbolic monolith celebrating 50 years of cooperation ripped the coverings off the monument, giving the visitors a preview.

  A monument celebrating 50 years of cooperation between Arlington and sister city Bad Königshofen was unveiled during the Jazz Orchestra's visit.
Monument

After Mayor Behr led a brisk climb to the top of the church clock tower, he introduced the students to a diminutive woman named Rita. With some encouragement, Rita brought out an accordion that looked too big for her to hold, much less play. But play she did, with irresistible cheer and energy.

Soon city officials and students were linked in a round dance on the cobblestone street. Rita finished her impromptu concert with When the Saints Go Marching In.

A cannon blast outside the Kursaal Auditorium prefaced the Jazz Orchestra's concert. While the musicians snapped pictures, the historically costumed two-man cannon crew obliged by firing two more rounds. They then invited a member of the jazz group to pull the triggering cord for the fourth round. Lead trumpet player Russ Echols volunteered-and survived-shaking hands and thanking the grinning crew for his moment as a cannoneer.

The concert began at 8 p.m. in a hall specially decorated with Arlington regalia and now filled with 400 citizens from the sister city. The planned concert ended with gifts from Mayor Behr to the orchestra and the presentation of a commemorative plate by UTA special events Director Diane Warren to the mayor.

Unplanned, however, was the audience's reaction. The concert-goers demanded an encore, then a second, then a third. The final encore was followed by a standing ovation.

During a champagne reception capping the evening, several orchestra members helped Mayor Behr perfect his vocal rendition of The Eyes of Texas.

– JW

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