The Marshall Philharmonic will close its 53rd Season on Sunday, April 17 featuring some of Marshall's most promising young talent. Soloist for the day will be 2014 Marshall High School graduate Ryan Layton, bass-baritone, and the Marshall High School Orchestra will perform as special guests.

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Ryan Layton is a sophomore at the University of Missouri where he is pursuing a degree in vocal music education. Ryan, the son of Chris and Lori Layton, hails from Marshall. He was deeply involved with the performing arts at Marshall High School, participating in band, theatre, and choir. Ryan has been a member of the Missouri Valley College Concert Band, Marshall Municipal Band, Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Marshall Community Chorus. He was a two-year member of the Missouri All-State Choir and received top ratings at the State Music Festival. At Mizzou, he is a member of the Concert Chorale, Choral Union, and Hitt Street Harmony. Ryan studies voice with Steven B. Jepson.

The Marshall High School Orchestra also has accumulated recent state honors. On Thursday, April 7 the orchestra received a I rating at state music festival in Boonville. Students were evaluated by a panel of 3 judges for their prepared works, and by a 4th judge for their sightreading. This marks the 15th consecutive year for the Marshall Orchestra to earn a I rating at the state event under the leadership of conductor Kevin Lines.

Sunday’s concert will feature popular music from many eras including an excerpt from “Xerxes”, a serious opera by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), a tango by John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), “Marian the Librarian”, a solo by famed Iowa-born musical composer, Meredith Willson (1902-1984), “A Salute to the Big Bands” arranged by contemporary composer/arranger Calvin Custer (1939-1998), and “Star Wars Epic – Part I & II”, written by five-time Academy Award winner, John Williams (b. 1932).

Sunday's concert will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Harold L. Lickey Auditorium of Bueker Middle School and is underwritten by Wood & Huston Bank. As always, MPO concerts are free to the public with a reception immediately following.