Band Performs at Annual Christmas Concert

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Band Performs at Annual Christmas Concert

By Ethan Lao, Yearbook Designer

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Members of the Westwood Band played in their Christmas concert on Thursday, Dec. 8, at the Raymond E. Hartfield Performing Arts Center (PAC). After a successful marching band season, each of the four bands created a program with many fun and challenging pieces, putting the audience into a festive cheer.

As students and parents made their way into the auditorium of the PAC before the concert, multiple ensembles got together to play Christmas carols, helping to start the excitement of the night. The first band to perform was the Concert Band, which opened the concert with “Chanteys” by Robert Sheldon, and ended with melodies from the famous series of Charlie brown, titled “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and arranged by Carl Strommen. Following their performance was the Symphonic band, which started with “Midnight Sleighride” by Sergie Prokofiev. The next piece, “An American Elegy” by Frank Ticheli, involved a unique trumpet solo, in which the student stood backstage to play, providing a cool effect. The band closed with the famous soundtrack from Home Alone, titled “A Home Alone Christmas”, arranged by Paul Lavender.

“This winter concert has been phenomenal and has definitely pumped people up with holiday spirit,” Stephen Shiue ‘19 said. “You’re not only able to hear the outstanding music played by your friends, but also able to have fun and express the passion you have towards your instrument.”

After a quick intermission, the Wind Symphony played a fun and quirky piece called “Wedding Dance” and composed by Jacques Press, followed up with “Sleep” by Eric Whitacre, a slow piece based off the poem by Robert Frost. The band ended by playing “A Christmas Festival” by Leroy Anderson, a song that has become a long standing tradition to play at the Christmas concert. The last band to perform was the Wind Ensemble, which started with “American Overture for Band” by Joseph Wilcox Jenkins. It was followed with a slow and beautiful piece, “The Sussex Mummers Christmas Carol” by Percy Grainger. The concert ended with “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson, which was also a tradition to play at the Christmas concert.

“I felt like all the bands played really well at the concert,” Chase Scelsi ‘18 said. “Even though I had forgotten my music, my band played outstandingly overall.”

Each of the four bands had performed exceptionally well, and will continue to prepare heading into their next contest, the UIL competition. In addition to playing in their band, students will also prepare their own solo music for the UIL Solo and Ensemble and the Westwood Solo and Ensemble competitions.