By: Mikayla Carter
The Music In Our Schools concert on Wednesday March 20th, was composed of elementary, middle, and high school band. It is used to show the road of advancement from elementary to high school band, and to see the growth and progress that can be made if students pursue band into high school. All of the performances were executed with passion that left the audience impressed and permeated with joy and admiration for the new musicians, all while giving hope and insight to the musical talent from the younger generation.
“Out Of Sight” originally composed by Johann Sebastian Bach started off the night played by the middle school jazz band. The performance was no doubt an attention grabber, with students from grades 6-8 expressing their adoration for the art of music. Following the middle school jazz band, the high school Jazz Band swiftly transitioned to an exceptional recital of the piece “Duly Noted” composed by band director, Patrick Martin. Allison Rigler (11) says “The best part of performing in front of an audience is seeing them really enjoy the music like we do! Having everything come together and us performing as a unit and connecting is a big part of that too.” The elementary band proceeded, intriguing and engaging the audience to synchronically stomp their feet and clap their hands to the symphonic version of “We Will Rock You” by Queens.
The show also featured the first ever elementary choir who performed “A Million Dreams” from the musical The Greatest Showman. This was no doubt the cutest moment of the night, parents and people watching and listening to the song were moved, nearly brought to tears by the young voices that filled the room. Jenna (4), from Mary Farmar Elementary says the choir practiced 4 times a week for this show and her favorite part was finally getting to sing it in front of everyone. Mr. Hanna, the elementary choir director, expresses, “I am most proud of how much fun the kids were having.” he continues “This is my first year doing this, so for me it is a really big deal.” Mr. Hanna also mentioned how his love for music grew during his childhood, and how he’s “always been passionate about spreading that to the younger generation.”
Benicia Middle School norse, concert and symphonic band also made an appearance reciting pieces ranging from “Nottingham Castle” originally composed Larry Daehn, and “Creed”.
The High School Band, (combined wind ensemble and symphonic) played “Whatsoever Things” originally composed by Mark Camphouse.
This composition undeniably took listeners on an emotional roller coaster. The instruments, played by students, were able to embody the slow and grief-stricken opening, optimistic and sanguine middle, and heart-rending, tranquil ending of the piece.
Mr. Martin, the band director, made a bet with the audience that he would be able to gather all bands from all schools together in the final moments before the show was over, and he lived up to it. The final performance was all of the schools’ bands and choir combined playing “Kernkraft 400”, in which all of the students who participated in the show rushed to the middle of the gym to find “their people” (those who played the same instrument)… and within moments the show was on. The last piece truly grasped the energy of the night; upbeat, lively and fun.
Putting on an event like this is not easy, Mr. Martin explains, “The Wind Ensemble has been working on this for a couple months, all while preparing for their own concert. Band is a long process as a whole, and we can’t shift all of our focus to one event. We are always simultaneously working on other things.” Nevertheless, the concert was a success. Support from students, staff and parents/family is always helpful to showing our band that their hard work pays off. I promise you they will not disappoint.