Winter Band Concert Features New and Unique Music

Bryce VanDerveer (12) was the first student to play an original composition at a Manitou band concert. His piece was called, Presents Under Palm Trees, and it was performed on the ukulele.

Kaitlyn Cashdollar

Bryce VanDerveer (12) was the first student to play an original composition at a Manitou band concert. His piece was called, “Presents Under Palm Trees,” and it was performed on the ukulele.

Kaitlyn Cashdollar, Senior Reporter

This band concert was unique from others because unlike the past, they only had two group pieces for each different band. Before they had it where they did three or more group pieces, and maybe a few ensembles. This concert, they had many ensembles and very few group pieces.

The strings ensemble started off the concert with a lively version of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” by Albert Hague and arranged by Jeffery E. Turner. Afterwards, they played a very unique composition called “The 3-Minute Nutcracker.” It took the 8 movements of the Nutcracker and put it into a three minute piece, approximately 16 measures for each movement. The Concert Master, Owen White (9), had multiple highlights in the piece.

After strings preformed, the jazz band started out their portion with “Christmas Time Is Here,” by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi and arranged by David Pugh. They then went to play “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey. This was a unique choice, especially since Terry Leve, the band teacher, isn’t the biggest pop fan. However, he said at the concert that he “Knows a good piece when he sees one.”

Once the symphonic band set up, they started out with “Adventum: ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel and ‘Ukrainian Bell Carol'” arranged by Jared Barnes. After that piece was finished, they started the small ensemble portion of the concert. The first ensemble consisted of Hailey Matas (9) and Kimi Shoepflin (9), and they performed “The First Noel.” Matas played on the clarinet and Shoepflin played on the flute.

One particular performance was quite a notable one. It was the first original composition ever to be played at a MSHS band concert, arranged and preformed Bryce VanDerveer (12). It was called “Presents Under Palm Trees,” and he played it on a baritone ukulele.

The next performance was a trumpet piece called “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” played by Dorian Perez (11).

Another flute piece of the night was “Dance of the Reed Flutes,” performed by Alena Akse (11) and Braeden Lewis (11). Akse and Lewis are the first and second chair flutes, respectively. The next duet was performed by Aulora Carlin-Matthews (10) and Sage Murdock (9), and it was called “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Both Carlin-Matthews and Murdock are saxophone players.

One ensemble that stood out was “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” performed by Alison Lanning (11), Dominique Ortonward (10), and Ben Schwartz (9). While Schwartz was on the guitar, Lanning and Ortonward sang in a duet. It was the only performance of the night featuring singing.

Kyla Carpenter (9), fourth chair clarinet, played “Greensleeves,” a traditional English carol. Finally, the last ensemble of the night, was “A Christmas Carol Medley,” performed by the first chair trombone, Mason Aurand (12) and the first chair trumpet, Max Hexom (12).

Last but not least, the last piece of the night was a full band performance called “Concert Suite from The Polar Express,” by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard, arranged by Jerry Brubaker. This featured the theme music to the movie “The Polar Express” and expressed many moods throughout the piece.

Overall, the concert was a success, the band is now preparing for their next performance in March.