Ozarks Life: Ozark M.S. concert features song written by sixth-grader

Kaedrin Franklin’s song “War Thunder” was featured at the school’s May concert.
Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 8:58 AM CST
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OZARK, Mo. (KY3) - How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Practice, practice, practice.

How do you become the feature for a winter concert?

Ozark sixth grader, Kaedrin Franklin can tell you.

At Ozark Middle School, teachers hope to inspire their students to do great things. In Suzanne McGowen’s trombone class, 11-year-old Kaedrin didn’t want to blow his chance.

“I don’t want to be better than anybody or everybody,” Kaedrin said, “I just want to stand out.”

And he had a plan all the way back in September.

“The first day I got the trombone,” Kaedrin said, “I just really wanted to make a song.”

During some free time, Kaedrin got a music sheet and went to work.

“A week or so later,” his music teacher McGowen said, “he came in, and he said, ‘I wrote this.’”

McGowen sat down at the piano, played it, and stopped.

“I said, ‘Kaedrin, this has melodic contour, and it’s in the key of C minor.’ And he’s kind of looking at me because we have not addressed those theory topics in class yet,” McGowen said. “And I said, ‘what I’m trying to say is that this is great.’”

The sixth grader’s symphony is called “War Thunder.”

“(It’s from a) battle,” Kaedrin said, “or something that was like playing in the background (of a battle).”

It was so good, “War Thunder” was included in the Ozark Middle School Winter Concert.

“I was pretty nervous,” Kaedrin said.

“It underwent some changes to make it something to where a beginning band could play it successfully,” McGowen said.

McGowen and trumpet teacher Mrs. Harmon helped Kaedrin create sheet music for the trombone, trumpet, clarinet, and flute.

“I was just surprised that this could happen,” Kaedrin said, “being so young.”

Kaedrin isn’t a musical virtuoso. He’s not classically trained. And other than the school-issued recorder, he doesn’t play another instrument. You could say, lightning struck with “War Thunder.”

But Kaedrin is not done.

“I kind of want to add to it and just make it bigger,” Kaedrin said.

“I’m also excited that other kids are looking at this,” McGowen said, “like these are things that we can do; these are attainable things.”

As of now, they might introduce the extended version of “War Thunder” at the Ozark Middle School May Concert.

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