BY ALLISON RIGLER
This year the Northern California Band Association (NCBA) hosted its 24th annual All Northern Honor Band. NCBA All Northern Honor Band is a weekend of intense rehearsals for students selected all over northern and central California. This year was even more special because NCBA debuted its first annual All Norther Jazz Honor Band.
Ten students from Benicia’s Panther Band earned the opportunity to participate in this valuable experience, two even got into the new Jazz Honor Band. The Benicia participants were Elijah Burckin, Nate del Rosario, Justice Gardner, Jackson Hahn-Smith, Krishna Mandal, Maxine Mayor, Jayden Randolf, Allison Rigler, Parker Stewart, and Joshua Versace. The kids spent Thursday through Sunday rehearsing music they have never seen for a Jazz concert on Saturday and the Symphonic Concert Sunday. The jazz participants left early Thursday morning and the symphonic participants left early Friday morning for seating auditions.
The guest conductor for the high school All Northern Honor Band was Julie Giroux, a composer and three time Emmy winner who wrote for numerous video game and movie soundtracks. She worked with the Symphonic Band to produce six pieces, Rocketship by Kevin Day, Gryphon by Tyler Acari, along with Flying High, OPA! ,Our Cast Aways, and Shine, all by Julie Giroux.
Left to Right: Mr. Martin, Joshua Versace (11), Justice Gardner (11), Jayden Randolph (9), Nate del Rosario (12), Jackson Hahn-Smith (12), Krishna Mandal (11), Allison Rigler (12), and Maxine Mayor (12)
The guest conductor for the Jazz band was Greg Christtansen, past NCBA president, retired Golden Valley Band Director and trumpet performer. The Jazz band played Us by Thad Jones, This I Dig of You by Hank Mobley, Oclupaca by Duke Ellington, Always and Forever by Pat Metheny, Barnburner by Les Hooper, and Dark Side of the Blues by Andrew Classen.
This weekend was deemed a success by all the directors and kids, who gained valuable experiences and new friends in the music world.
Elijah Burckin (12) and Parker Stewart (11) performed in the first annual All Northern Jazz Honor Band