Band Brings Concert to New Levels

Elijah Abendroth and Calvin Kuhlman


The band is gestured to stand from their seats by the new band director, Mr. Leve, to accept the applause as he bows on their behalf. The band has just ended an awesome concert with three intensely accented notes played in perfect synchronicity by the whole band at the end of the final song, “Ukrainian Bell Carol.” By far the most anticipated part of the entire concert was the start of the bell carol. The fast, upbeat trumpet call that starts it off completely contrasts the song they had played prior to that, “Amazing Grace”. The symphonic portion of the concert went off beautifully not to mention just a few mistakes that the bulk of the audience couldn’t pick up on.

The work that went into the symphonic side of the concert was definitely strenuous, but still nothing the band’s grade A work ethic and the expert director couldn’t handle. On top of putting together four pieces in each jazz band they put together four symphonic pieces one of which being a grade four piece which is more than double the difficulty level we were used to playing. The piece I am referring to is Amazing Grace. This is an extremely beautiful and touching piece that we definitely did a great justice to. When the band was practicing this piece Mr. Leve had told us to think of a moment in our lives that had impacted us greatly in either an incredibly happy or sad way and to use that emotion to truly express the piece.

A couple of parts during the concert came across quiet comedic. For example at the end of the first piece, Sleigh Ride, Mr. Leve tried to acknowledge the soloists by saying “If we talked about you having a solo in class please stand up,” the only person to do so was Max Hexom because apparently the horse whiny at the end of the song counts as a solo. The symphonic group finished the concert wonderfully.

The two jazz bands directed by Mr. Tremel and Mr. Leve that started out the concert gave great performances, including a sing-a-long version of When the Saints go Marching In, a trumpet feature in Merry Little Christmas, and other exciting songs ranging from classic 40’s big band songs to an upbeat latin groove. There were many standout performances among individuals in the band. Many soloists took the spotlight over the course of the night, showcasing Mason Aurand, Austin Carlson-Sustarsic, Alison Lanning, Braeden Lewis, Naiya Budler, Luke Ganger, Darrin Proudfoot, Abbi Chapman, Bryce Stevens, and Lacey Harris, as well as multiple incredible solos from both Agnes Navaratne on alto sax and Max Hexom on trumpet.

Future performances by the Manitou Springs band include the annual pops concert and the awards concert, both of which are scheduled for the next semester.