Presidential Performance in Kingston

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KINGSTON -- When Colonel Tim Foley takes the podium at Buckingham Performing Arts Center in Kingston, these students know it's time to focus.

Foley is a former director for "The President's Own" U.S. marine band.

He spent 36 years with the band and retired in 2004. Now Foley, a Berwick native, works with students.

"The learning curve. As opposed to with professional musicians. Where you start at a very high level and maybe the learning curve is about that much. With students. It's just enormous," said Col. Foley.

Foley is a guest director, leading the wind ensemble in their performance of Aaron Copland's "Lincoln portrait".

Narrating the piece is another guest, Michael Barone. Barone hosts the National Public Radio show "Pipedreams" and is from Kingston.

He and Foley studied at Oberlin College together.

"It's great fun to be back together with Tim. We were college roommates in our senior year. And working with students is always fascinating because it puts me back into their place," said Barone.

Barone and Foley only rehearsed with the students for five days but they said they've learned as much from the students as the students have learned from them.

"You learn from their mistakes because what we were talking about earlier is students tend to make the same mistakes that professionals make," said Foley.

"Everybody has their own style. I really like the way he conducts, the way he teaches, the way he works with the band," said trumpet student Matt Blom.