According to Mrs. Koch, next year you should expect it to be “an incredibly strong year.” In 2015, the band will only be losing six seniors and the auxiliary. “Many of our section leaders this year were juniors who will be returning next year as senior section leaders.” Mrs. Koch also said that the marching skills were sharpened this year, which will give them a better focus on music next year. “I only foresee our scores improving.”
After marching season, the band has to get ready for the conference basketball games with pep band music. This year, pep band will be playing 8 new songs for the crowd’s enjoyment. When Mrs. Koch was asked if anything was going to change with pep band this year, she stated, “Nothing logistically will change; however, the band is excited to play a few new selections this year in addition to all our other favorites.” After band, one can constantly hear throughout the day Cameron Pritchett and Tim Prussener singing the “Immigrant” song by Led Zepplin. During band class, the players are always begging to get out the pep band folders so they can spend the class period playing modern music, which seems to be more enjoyable than playing concert music to some. When the band isn’t working on pep band music, they are working on concert music.
“The concert band music for the Christmas concert will include some of our typical holiday favorites. We were able to order a few new selections featuring some movie themes: Polar Express, Nightmare Before Christmas, Charlie Brown's Christmas,” Mrs. Koch stated. The band members may not be too crazy about this because they are excited for pep band at the moment. However, not all of the members like pep band the best. Michael McKernan prefers concert band simply because he just likes concert band.
Those are not the only things to look forward to in concert band this year. Like last year, in the spring concert, all the bands from 5th grade to high school will be performing a song together. “It is also fun and exciting for our audience to hear all the band members. Our next concert band selections will focus on district concepts because we will be preparing the band for District Music Festival in March this year; these songs will be more traditional in style and sound.”
“The high school band will be performing at the District Music Festival this year. New Haven has not participated at the district level with the full band for many years. I would love to bring this tradition back and show everyone in our district that New Haven can be just as strong of a concert band as we can a marching band.” Each year, individuals have been able to take a solo or ensemble to be rated on by one judge. They also have the option to take a three-person ensemble, commonly called a trio, up to a group of 8. This will be the first time in five years Mrs. Koch will be taking a whole band to districts.
The band is given a score at the festival that shows their skill of sight reading and being able to properly play a prepared piece. “First, the high school concert band will prepare several pieces to be adjudicated by three different judges on the day of District Music Festival. The judges will rate our band as I, II, III, IV, or V. I is the highest rating a band can receive, and V is the lowest. Second, the band will sight read a selection of music and be adjudicated on the same scale; this shows judges how well the students can read music without preparation, truly testing their musical skills.”
This year will definitely be more challenging and involved. The members will have more playing opportunities, and this makes for more experience to better their playing skills. Everyone is welcome to these events. The band always enjoys an audience of faces they know.
-by Abby Perdue