FranklinIs Connected

Youth Orchestras

Youth Orchestras

Two Williamson County Youth Orchestras to present "Blockbuster Music" at Carmike Throroughbred Theater in Franklin, Tenn.    

On-screen movie montages and live music from more than 110 orchestra students and 75 choral students will provide family entertainment at this fundraising event.

“Blockbuster Music: The Great Scores of Contemporary American Films,” a family-friendly event featuring live orchestra music and movie montages, will be presented by the Williamson County Youth Orchestra (WCYO) and Williamson County Junior Youth Orchestra (WCJO) on Sunday, January 27, 2008 at the Carmike Thoroughbred Theater, Franklin, Tenn.

Two performances at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. will feature the sounds and sights from:
•    The Chronicles of Narnia;
•    Jurassic Park (highlights);
•    James Bond (medley);
•    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban;
•    The Incredibles;
•    The Lion King;
•    Lord of the Rings;
•    Pirates of the Caribbean;
•    Spider Man
•    Star Wars; and
•    Titanic.

The special event is presented by more than 110 middle school and high school student musicians from WCYO and WCJO under the direction of Mark Johnson and Melissa Edgington, respectively.  Video montages are being coordinated via the TV Production Department of Brentwood High School under the direction of Mark Madison, faculty instructor, assisted by Brad Hollinger, student producer.  Special guests include a 75-voice choir from Brentwood High School, conducted by Kim Clark.  The BHS Choir Program is the recipient of numerous national and state awards. 

“Blockbuster Music” is funded, in part, by “The Arts Build Communities program,” which is funded by the Tennessee General Assembly and administered in cooperation with the Tennessee Arts Commission and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. 
Event sponsors also include the Carmike 20 Thoroughbred Theaters and Gordon Food Service (GFS).

“The orchestras are a great way for students to share and explore music and leadership gifts beyond their academic world and private instrument study,” said Johnson.  “We work on a wide variety of music, which includes classical, film, and pop, and we have plans to include Broadway and ethnic music soon.”

Edgington adds that the students love playing movie tunes.

“The music is challenging but exciting to play, and it’s a chance for students to really grow as musicians and have fun while learning,” she said.

For ten years, the WCYO program, which is a non-profit organization, has served students from Williamson County and surrounding areas.  Both youth orchestras have grown over the past year, with more than 90 new students joining.  The Junior Youth Orchestra was first launched in January 2007.

“Because of the tremendous need in the area to provide orchestra performance experiences for our gifted, young musicians, the Williamson County Youth Orchestra has experienced significant growth over the past year,” said Janet Parker, board president, WCYO. 

Parker adds that “Blockbuster Music” is the group’s first fundraiser.  The orchestras have students from more than 20 public and private schools and home school associations.  WCYO has students from every high school in Williamson County Schools.  Several students from Davidson and Maury counties also participate in the orchestras. 

“We are in need of percussion instruments, larger performance venues, storage facilities, and administrative assistance,” she said.  “Funds are needed to fulfill fundamental needs of the organization to continue to challenge and advance the musical accomplishments of the high school and middle school students we serve.”

Johnson noted that the orchestras’ “unique makeup is a great way for students to meet new friends and work alongside musicians from other schools.”

“I’ve enjoyed watching new friendships from the different schools and home school groups,” he said.

Tickets are $10 per person for reserved seating and $5 per person for general seating.  Tickets are available at the door, but for tickets in advance, email  For information about the orchestra programs, visit