Millikin University’s Prelude Orchestra accepts two MMS students


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Grayson Ventress and Caden Ford, Meridian Middle School, were recently selected for Millikin University's Prelude Orchestra.

Larou de Jong, Reporter

Caden Ford and Grayson Ventress, both in eighth grade at Meridian, were accepted to Millikin University’s Prelude Orchestra in early September. Millikin University’s Prelude Orchestra is a group that gives kids the opportunity to audition, participate and perform in an Orchestra.

Ford and Ventress both play the trombone in the Meridian Middle School Band. They auditioned in early September and were accepted the same day. Grayson, who has played the trombone since fourth grade, had a really good feeling about it and thought he would make it.

“I said, I knew I was getting in so I did,” said Ventress.

Ford, who has played since sixth grade, was surprised but also a bit confused when he heard he was accepted.

“She said ‘see you on Monday.’ So I didn’t really know if that meant I got in, but then when she confirmed it I got really excited,” said Ford.

On September 16, the students had their first rehearsal. Their practice schedule is every Monday, so they can prepare for their upcoming shows.

“I saw them going really far, but I think these young men if they keep going will get way farther,” said Tony Hicks, MHS and MMS band director.

Before band class, Ford and Ventress came in to share the news. Hicks, who normally doesn’t like it when people come in during his band class, didn’t mind it this time.

“They came up really excited, telling me how they made it into the group,” said Hicks. It didn’t surprise Hicks at all, because he believes the boys are extremely talented and work really hard.

When they grow up, both hope to still do something with music and that this experience will help them with their futures.

“I’d just like to say just keep doing what you are doing, keep practicing, and do what you are supposed to do. And if you do, you are going to have scholarships when you’re ready for college,” said Hicks.