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Spring Concert

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Mrs. Smithey conducts the beginning band.

Every year, before school lets out for the summer, the band puts on a wonderful Spring Concert in Pensacola’s beautiful Saenger Theatre. The concert this year was on Tuesday, May 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Each band gets its own concert, with short intermissions in between. Before Beginning Band started to play, Anna Higgins, 6th grade, gave a speech, that she wrote, called “The Power of Music.” The band played (in the following order) “Star Wars Main Theme,” “The Tempest,” “Over the Rainbow,” “Aruba Tuba,” “Theme from Jurassic Park,” and “Wipe Out.” There was an award ceremony in between the songs. Thomas Haddock, 6th, a beginning baritone player, says, “The concert was really fun!” To practice for the concert, since Beginning Band plays in sections, this band practiced together twice after school at the high school. After the show, during a short intermission while people were busy in the lobby getting snacks and ordering CDs, the Varsity Band members got on stage to tune and warm up. And then it was on to their portion of the night!

Varsity Band played after the intermission, and its program started off with a welcome speech by Michael Millican, 7th. The first song was “Rolling in the Deep,” after that, a reading about the Curse of Tutankhamun was read by Arizona Guillory, 7th, the next song was “The Curse of Tutankhamun,” and then “African Marching Song.” Awards were given out, and then “I’m a Believer,” was the song that came after, and finally, “The Magnificent Seven” was the last song of the concert. Hannah Sarkadi, 7th grade, also a baritone player, says, “I really enjoyed playing in the concert!” Some Symphonic Band members performed the whole concert with Varsity Band because of a shortage of certain instruments, such as trombones.

Symphonic Band ended the night with their concert, starting with a welcome speech by Isabelle Weiler. The songs were, in order, “The Sound of Music,” “The Great Locomotive Chase,” “The First Wave,” and then “Yesterday” was the song after awards, and last but not least, “Disney Blockbusters” was the final song. Natalia Mercado, 7th grade, plays flute in Symphonic Band and says, “My favorite piece was ‘Sound of Music’ – or ‘Disney Blockbusters’ – I can’t decide which one I like more!” Jalen Blanchard, 7th, a percussionist says, “My favorite piece was ‘The First Wave.'” Jalen also won an award for favorite 7th grade boy in Symphonic. There were a few extra special things about the Symphonic Band’s performance, though. One of which would be that Mrs. Smithey didn’t conduct for one of the songs! Instead, a student did! Michael Werner, 8th grade, composed and conducted his own song “The First Wave” using a program he got for Christmas called StaffPad. (see more on Michael by clicking here.) Mrs. Smithey has said that this has not ever happened before! The other extra special thing about the Symphonic Band concert was that all members of Symphonic Band, whether in 7th or 8th was able to dress up for their performance to honor their years of service. While members of Varsity Band and Beginning Band wore their uniforms, (black pants and black shoes, and their band polo) Symphonic Band’s members were able to wear formal wear, such as a dress or a button-down and khakis.

Mrs. Smithey planned the event to only be two hours or less – about the time it would take to go to a sports game and warm up. She did not want the concert to take more than the amount of time a family would spend at a sports game. She says her favorite part of the night was, “Seeing 250 excited children!” Most people would say that being able to perform at the Saenger Theatre was a very special opportunity and it is owed to everyone who participated in the band fundraiser earlier this fall who helped pay for this event. Mrs. Smithey says, “I just hope that everyone enjoyed performing there, and that the audience enjoyed being there. We have to remember how nice it was so we will be extra motivated to do well on our band fundraiser next year! It cost us just a little under $4,000 for ONE NIGHT.” It was definitely worth it, though with some people saying that it was the best spring concert ever put on by the band. Mr. Brandon says, “I loved everything about the concert. It was the best middle concert I have ever seen. Mrs. Smithey and her students should be very proud of their performance. I certainly am.” What a way to end a year of band!

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