Check out some recordings of both the Band and Choral Holiday concerts posted by Mr. Ryerson! https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9CGbyxjnpzeY1o0ZE9ELVcybDg&authuser=0
The first Band concert of the year was Thursday, December 18th, and it also marked Mr. Harden’s debut as Band Director here at HHS. After an awesome marching season, people were excited to hear what the band could produce in a concert setting. The Band certainly did not disappoint! Concert Band, Percussion Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble were the groups to perform that night, each putting their own spin on Christmas music.
Concert Band started off with a medley of famous Christmas carols including Silent Night and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Right after, they played Seal Lullaby, which was meant to be the slow song of the show. Mr. Schnelle was featured on the piano for that song and, for everyone in the audience, it was quite the musical treat. After that, the band played the Nutcracker suite. Any musician would agree that this piece is challenging, but it was quite the feeling to hear the audience raving about the Band’s performance. Finally, Concert Band played Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson. I can guarantee that you have heard this song on the radio. The pressure of everyone knowing the song you are about to play was certainly there but it was amazing to hear how well it came out.
Concert Band has around 60 students and includes freshmen through seniors. One of the awesome things about Concert Band, in my opinion, is that it includes anyone who wants to play. Everyone learns so much about music and it always amazes me how far the Band comes from our first reading of a piece to the final performance during a concert.
Percussion Ensemble also played two songs for the concert. This group meets after school for about an hour once a week and is open to anyone who wants to join. They play drums of all sizes and even mallet instruments. The music they played was truly breathtaking and I really enjoyed it.
Jazz Ensemble ended the concert with some, you guessed it, jazzy Christmas songs. Jazz Ensemble is an audition-based group of about 15 musicians that is meant to emulate a 1930s era big band. They play in concerts and also “gig” at various events in the Hanover area. If you have the opportunity to hear them, they are amazing! Many students had the chance to solo and they all were really good.
Everyone I’ve talked to has raved about the Band’s holiday concert. If you couldn’t make this one, I encourage you to attend the next concert which will feature the songs the Band is going to play during our tour at Williamsburg in the spring. You won’t want to miss it.
Click here to see the program from the concert: HHS Winter Instrumental Concert