3rd annual Essentially Eau Claire concert features professional - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

3rd annual Essentially Eau Claire concert features professional musician with local ties

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To belt some tunes with a professional musician can be a rare opportunity to have. Some area students spent this week rehearsing with a saxophonist – who has been on tour with Queen Latifah and made appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Ellen DeGeneres Show -- to prepare for their final concert of the year.

Tom Luer, a guest artist who will perform at the 3rd annual Essentially Eau Claire concert, said, "I don't think I've ever had a chance to solo with Memorial jazz band so, this is a first."

For Chippewa Falls native and professional musician, music is where the heart is.

Luer said, "I get a chance to stay connected to my roots here, because I'm always going to feel like a part of me is here and this is home. And to be able to come back now and make music with these students here and share the musical experience that I have, it's really rewarding for me."

The Essentially Eau Claire concert at Memorial High School is reigning musicians back home to rehearse with area music students and teaching them a lesson or two.

Dennis Luginbill, a music educator at Memorial High School, said, "It's really unique because for one, the project involves having a guest artist for, not just a day or two, but for a whole week. The students can really get to know the guest artist and really get to learn a lot from them, and it's also unique in that."

Hunter Hanson, a senior at Memorial High School, said, "It's always great to have professionals out there and do what they do, come in, because with that perspective, it gives hope to some people like me who wants to major in music and go into a career with music."

A love for music that would not have been possible if the opportunity didn't come sooner.

Caleb Kamrath, a senior at Memorial High School, said, "Middle school music is where I got started. I also play French horn, too, in the concert bands. And French horns are school loaned instruments and they're very expensive for students to go out and buy for themselves, especially if you're just testing out an instrument in 6th grade. So without programs like this to raise money for the middle schools, I wouldn't have been able to play that instrument."

The 3rd annual Essentially Eau Claire concert will be on Monday at 7p.m. You can purchase tickets in advance for $10 at Morgan Music and Schmitt Music. Tickets will also be sold at the door the night of the concert. Proceeds will benefit music programs at South and Delong Middle School.

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