An Extra Helping of the Blue Plate Special Road Show Featuring ORHS Fusion Orchestra performing “Highway Boogie”

In our fourth road show while the Knoxville Visitor’s Center performance area is being remodeled, the Blue Plate Special traveled to the historic Grove Theater in Oak Ridge. Opening the show were the students from the Oak Ridge High School Fusion Orchestra. This small group is made up of players from the 200 member ORHS Orchestra, under the direction of instructor Doug Phillips. Mr. Phillips tells us that in Fusion Orchestra, the challenge is to take classically trained musicians and teach them how to improvise on the spot, and it’s also an opportunity to teach songwriting and arranging skills. The tune in this video is called “Highway Boogie”. Mr. Phillips said, “That’s kind of the cool thing about it – I’m not just standing in front of the kids dictating what to do, I just become an equal member of the group with the kids – and so we’re having a lot of fun with it.” (That’s him on drums!) Student members of the ORHS Fusion Orchestra are: Sheila Wilder, Emily Lutner, Zach Trabalka, Julia Steed, Brittany Wensell, Sooah Lee, Matthew Daring-Yerk, and Owen Mull. Learn more about the award winning ORHS Orchestra on their website at:, and on their Facebook page at:…. Discover the history of The Grove Theater at

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