The Champions' Journal

Band Hosts Winter Concert

Derek Dodson

"There will be something for everyone at this concert! Come join the fun!

Daniela Chavez

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You walk into the grand auditorium as your ears fill with the drums playing to the beat of “Bell Carol.” All types of instruments surround you as the door closes behind you. It’s the bands annual winter concert.

  The Yellowjacket band has a winter concert every year, playing Christmas-themed music for the audience. Apart from the concert itself, the band also holds a winter basket auction and includes traditions from years before.

  The directors of each band choose their music pieces carefully with a purpose.

  “I do a lot of listening to find pieces that both fit the band’s strengths and are ones that they will enjoy preparing.” Mr. Childs, the head director of the band, said.

  “The band’s program is very energetic this year,” Childs said. “We’ll open with ‘Joy To The World’ with a New Orleans street beat, then our second tune is ‘And Kings Shall Swing,’ a take on We Three Kings that evokes the classic big band era. We also have a guest soloist on one of our pieces. Dr. Andrew Stonerock, the new director of jazz studies at Tarleton, will be joining us for a funky version of ‘Deck The Halls’.”

  Meghan Lockwood, the new director of the Wind Symphonic Band, experienced her first public performance in the band winter concert.

  “I am still amazed at the strong work ethic and character of the students and the support from so many staff and parents for the band program,” Lockwood said. “Stephenville loves their band program, and that is a privilege that is not evident in every school district. Great kids and great support equals strong band programs.”

 Lockwood has prepared a series of goals for their concert.

  “My goal with the first concert is to showcase the the Symphonic in a way that highlights the strength of the YJB program as a whole,” Lockwood said. “By bringing the level of the Symphonic up, the entire band will be in a position for more competitive opportunities. I will always strive for high performance expectations and push the Symphonic band’s degree of difficulty. Simply, I chose music based on two things: the strengths of the band and pieces that the students and audience will enjoy. I always want to choose music that everyone enjoys practicing, performing, and listening to. I do my job because I love music, so it should be fun.”

  “For our Christmas concert the Percussion will be playing with the band as well as playing two Percussion only Ensemble pieces. The ensembles will be ‘Palladio’ by Carl Jenkins and an arrangement of ‘Carol of the Bells’ from Trans Siberian Orchestra… I enjoy playing Christmas music. When marching season comes to an end it is always nice to start our concert season with holiday music.” the director of percussion, Michel Wimberly said.

  The section basket auctions are a fundraiser for the band’s trips. Each section of instruments come up with a theme and fill the basket with objects relating to the theme. At the Winter Concert, the baskets are auctioned off.

  “Each section selects a theme for their basket & contributes to fill each basket,” Childs said, “The band fans use the basket fundraiser as a way to help the band with their travel, playoff games, and this years trip to Tennessee.”

  A very popular tradition among the band for every winter concert is the playing of “Sleigh Ride,” by the Wind Ensemble.

  “We’ve been playing it for years and I never get tired of it,” Childs said, “I think it’s the perfect song to bring in the holidays. And maybe a little wishful thinking of actually getting some snow.”

  The band itself has made wonderful improvements. Growth in numbers, instruments, and talent has increased.

  “All the bands have been working really hard to get ready for every performance we have, whether it’s marching contests, our ‘sit down’ concerts, or even Friday nights,” Childs said. “I’m very proud of the effort they consistently put into all we do.”

  Our percussion has evolved a lot over the past five years.

  “We started with nine percussion students in high school, this year we have 25,” Wimberly said. “Last year we added a competition—Indoor Drumline—which received second place. Our percussion concert, Jacket Jam, started with 30 students. This year will be bigger than ever, involving more than 70 students 6th-12th grade.”

  The annual band winter concert is an auditorium filled with music, traditions, auctions, and winter spirit. Hope to see you there next year!

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Band Hosts Winter Concert