Band concert showcases southeast quadrant student talent

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Family, friends, teachers and musicians packed into the Terraceum on Thursday night as bands from MTHS, Brier Terrace Middle School (BTMS) and sixth graders from various schools performed at the southeast quadrant band concert.

The event kicked off with sixth graders from across the edmonds school district, conducted by Brad Allison and Kirk Jones. They began with “Fire Dance” and then, after being introduced, proceeded with “Double-Oh-Eight (A Spy Story)” and the “Mission: Impossible” theme song.

These familiar tunes induced images of James Bond and agent Ethan Hunt in the audience members’ minds as they hummed along.

Afterward, band teacher Angela Zumbo conducted BTMS students as they performed “The Escape” and “Pixar Movie Magic.” The latter hit the audience with a wave of nostalgia as they were transported back to simpler times through the music of popular childhood movies, such as “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story.

I love listening to [the high school students] because they never cease to amaze me. It’s also very inspirational because they used to be in the same position as me, playing the same music as I do, so it gives me hope that one day I will play like them.”

— Jacob Knight

As percussion instruments were moved and the combined high school bands prepared to perform, MC Scott Barnes cracked a few jokes among announcements of upcoming events for student musicians.

Barnes advertised the MTHS Summer Music School, a three week music workshop for band, orchestra and choir musicians, which will begin on June 22.

The Summer Music School will provide students with an opportunity to try things they have never tried before, such as learning to compose music and writing their own songs. Those who attend the Summer Music School will also get to go on field trips to places such as the EMP in Seattle.

Barnes also announced upcoming concerts at MTHS. For instance, jazz musician Gary Smulyan will be at MTHS performing with the Jazz Ensembles on Thursday.

These announcements were followed by a performance of “Fate of the Gods” by MTHS combined bands, conducted by band teacher Darin Faul. The performance was powerful, sending the neck hairs of audience members on end.

According to junior Tyler Cannon, who played timpani and percussion at the southeast quadrant band concert, the song told a story about different gods and goddesses and their fates through the flows and changes of the song. For example, he said that the darker parts of the song resembled the story of Loki, the Norse god of mischief.

To many, such as eighth grade trumpet player Jacob Knight, “Fate of the Gods” was their favorite piece of the night.

“I love listening to [the high school students] because they never cease to amaze me. It’s also very inspirational because they used to be in the same position as me, playing the same music as I do, so it gives me hope that one day I will play like them,” Knight said.

Even more impressive was the fact that, prior to the concert, the combined bands had never rehearsed “Fate of the Gods” together, according to Faul. Instead, the bands came together from practicing in their separate spheres and ended with a beautiful composition.

After MTHS combined bands played, the Jazz Ensemble 1 performed “Hymn to Freedom,” a composition arranged by MTHS alumnus Mat Montgomery specifically for this year’s Jazz 1. “Hymn to Freedom” has been played at several of Jazz 1’s other performances, including the Newport Jazz Festival and Hot Java Cool Jazz.

To finish off the night, bands from all different grade levels played “The Magic of Harry Potter” together as one.

Faul said that Zumbo and her students voted to play “The Magic of Harry Potter” so that they could have a more difficult piece to play and so that they could begin playing earlier in the year and collaborate with other schools’ bands more often.

Faul applauded collaboration between the different levels of musicians that the quad concert brings about.

“It’s great for the high school kids to see the enthusiasm from the younger kids and just the joy they get from playing their instruments,” Faul said.

Cannon also said the concert became and opportunity for high school musicians to take on leadership roles for younger students.
“It was really cool how they were looking up to me. It’s good to be a mentor sometimes. I liked seeing how prepared [the younger students] were and I’m excited for them to be moving up,” Cannon said.

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