Bob Phillips was not expecting to have Permian High School students take a knee at his feet and serenade him with their string instruments. It was unforeseen, and it nearly made Phillips cry.
“It was overwhelming, and so beautiful. It took a lot for me to not shed a tear,” Phillips said on Monday after the Satin Strings played the particularly moving piece “Ashokan Farewell.” Phillips is the host of “Texas Country Reporter,” a popular TV show that explores the “different and the passionate” in Texas, Phillips said.
“And you got that right here,” he said pointing toward Todd Berridge, the director of the Satin Strings ensemble, orchestras and PHS music teacher. By this point in the class, Berridge was strumming a guitar and had put his maestro baton aside.
“Nobody I know of is as passionate and different as a strolling string orchestra — and in a high school?” Phillips said.
The crew from “Texas Country Reporter” spent the day in the PHS orchestra room for a feature story on the 45-member Satin Strings, which has been around since 1988. Berridge has been its director for six years.
The 12:30 p.m. class period began with Berridge leading a short rehearsal of music for an upcoming University Interscholastic League concert. The group of mostly sophomore students (juniors were TAKS testing on Monday) and a few seniors were seated when Phillips walked in. His producer Brian Hawkins had already been running around between three cameras set up in the room, switching between close-ups and wide shots.
But as each class of Satin Strings goes, they couldn’t be contained by chairs. With smiles and agreeable “woo-hoos” to boot, the students rose from their seats to do what they do so “different and with passion” — stroll and play.
“It’s just remarkable,” Berridge said about “Texas Country Reporter” choosing to hang out with the Satin Strings. “It’s nice to have them see what I’ve seen for years.”
The episode featuring PHS’s musicians is scheduled to air in May on KWES. It typically airs at 10:30 p.m. on Sundays.
>> Contact Lindsay Weaver on twitter at @OAschools, on Facebook at OA Lindsay Weaver or call 432-333-7781.