Bands perform at preview concert


The Wind Ensemble.

The lights dimmed, and the audience quieted as anticipation took hold and music echoed through the hall.

The preview concert held on Feb. 26 served as a practice for both the Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble for the upcoming band assessments next week at West Springfield High School. The assessment is a chance for band programs throughout the state to be reviewed by a panel of judges and receive a numeric grade.

The preview was also a chance for the bands to perform their program for parents and students who will be unable to travel to the National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis on March 15.

The Symphonic Band, comprised mainly of freshmen and sophomores, performed the program they will present to judges next Thursday for assessment. Their program consisted of three pieces: “Military Escort” by Harold Bennett, “English Suite” by Clare Grundman and “A Huntington Celebration” by Philip Sparke.

The Wind Ensemble performed the five pieces they will play on March 15. Their last selection, “Symphonic Metamorphosis” by Paul Hindemith, will be performed along with the “George Washington Bicentennial March” by John Philip Sousa at the band’s assessment next Saturday.

Two guest judges critiqued and gave advice to both groups after their performances.

“It was beneficial to both groups to have a practice concert for the upcoming assessment,” freshman piccolo player Eke Wokocha said. “It also gave parents who are unable to attend the assessment a chance to hear both programs.”