Band Ends the Year with Award Concert


Hanny Chairunnisa

Alena Akse (11) and Braeden Lewis (11) start off the woodwind section of the jazz band with “New Orleans Jumbo-Gumbo.”

Hanny Chairunnisa, Reporter

The Manitou Springs High School Band successfully held the end of the year concert on May 10th. This concert was special because it was the last time the seniors would perform in a MSHS Band concert. As well, awards and honors would be given to students who showed leadership and skill throughout the year. The strings ensemble opened the concert with “Boccherini Minuet” composed by Luigi Boccherini. They played two more pieces, one of them combining a total of three differently themed movements: “Ave Maria” composed by Giulio Caccini and “Pictures at an Exhibition” composed by Modest Mussorgsky.

The concert then transitioned to the jazz band portion. They kicked it off with “New Orleans Jumbo-Gumbo” by Mike Carubia. This is the first dixie piece that the jazz band has done since Terrance Leve, the band teacher, first started teaching at Manitou. It slowed down with “Lost Star” by Sammy Nestico, which featured Max Hexom (12) on the flugelhorn. The last jazz piece of the night was a theme song from a classic 50’s tv show, “Perry Mason Themed” composed by Fred Steiner.

When the symphonic band set up, they first played “Praise Ye” composed by Charles Gounod. In between this and the next piece, they had senior featured solos. Hexom played his piece “Sonate for Trumpet and Piano” composed by Paul Hindemith. Next, Mason Aurand (12), first chair trombone, also played his senior piece: “Andante and Allegro” featuring Gunnar Marquardt (10) on the piano. Both Hexom and Aurand have played in the MSHS Bands for seven years. Not only that, but Aurand also conducted the next full band piece “Train Heading West” composed by Timothy Broege. Every year, several seniors audition to conduct the “senior piece,” which has become a sort of tradition in the Manitou Band. Near the end of the concert, Leve recognized the seniors Kellen Reid, Carina Villarreal, Max Hexom, Mason Aurand, Bryce VanDerveer and Brianna Russel-Weddington. Nearly all of them have been in a band for all seven years offered. After Leve explained their plans after high school, the seniors gave their teacher presents with complex backstories.

Leve then moved on to the award section of the concert. Some band students were high achievers this year and qualified for many prestigious honor bands. Only one person, however, was chosen to play in the Colorado Springs All City Honor Band: Alena Akse (11). Along with being first chair flutist and an accomplished honor band musician, Akse was accepted into Lamont Summer Music Academy at Denver University, a highly competitive camp. After that, Leve mentioned the students who received MSHS awards based on categories. Those include awards such as the Patrick S. Gilmore award, which was awarded to Akse and Aurand. This was Akse’s second year in a row winning the award. The highest regarded award given to high school band student is the John Phillip Sousa Band Award. This honor was awarded to Hexom, who has received scholarships for his skill on the trumpet as he is heading for college. The band finished up the night with the composition they performed at the Tri-Peaks League Honor Band competition this year: “Bandology” by Eric Osterling. They also played this piece at the previous years final concert, but didn’t perform it at Tri-Peaks that year.

Overall, the students showed their hard work through the year in the pieces and they played.