Band festival "packs the PAC"
The Lampeter-Strasburg band program held its annual district-wide festival for grades 4-12 last evening in the Performing Arts Center, which drew a full house of family, friend, and faculty spectators that required the opening of the balcony, a rare occurrence.
|The view from the balcony in the L-S Performing Arts Center,|
something many don't get to experience since it is so
The evening recital commenced with a brassy rendition of a '70s favorite, “Play That Funky Music,” by the high school jazz band. Throughout the show, the senior high jazz band continued to entertain the crowd during transitions from one band to another with fun, swingy tunes, including a special trombone feature piece entitled “Lassus Trombone” in which Mr. Royer joined his senior trombonists Jarrod Lloyd, Sam Ingram, and Ben Pontz, who were members of the first class of fourth graders with whom he worked.
Along with sophomore Preston Brazzle, the trombone quintet offered a special performance, after which Mr. Royer commented to the audience, directed especially towards his beginner performers up front, that for devoted musicians, “Playing is something that’s lifelong. It doesn’t stop when you graduate.”
An exhilarating atmosphere overflowed with abundant applause as the curtain opened for the fourth graders' first performance on the L-S PAC stage. The foot-tapping fourth graders, directed by Mrs. Heather Ceresini, were the first concert band of the evening. Select members bravely spoke into the microphone as they introduced each song to the viewers.
|The event marked the penultimate concert band performance for|
seniors (from L) Maggie Hansson, Kristin Allen, and Sarah Rhineer
Following them was the seventh and eighth grade ensemble, led by Royer. Two students from the orchestra accompanied the band by providing a unique cello accompaniment during a selection entitled "Heaven's Light", which featured clarinet and flute solos.
The fifth grade section ran much like the fourth, with Ceresini in command. Sixth grade, the smallest collection of all, went just as well, with Royer steering the boat at the conductor’s stand.
To conclude the concert, the most experienced high school band demonstrated a proficiency that can only come with numerous years of practice and diligence. In particular, their segment contained an “expressive,” as Royer puts it, interpretation of the classic hymn "Amazing Grace" that featured a breathtaking solo from sophomore saxophonist Laura Komara.
The combined performances presented a diversity of musical elements, from energetic tempos to bluesy rhythms to gentle melodies. Listeners showed by means of applause their sincere appreciation for the work each student dedicated to preparing for the night’s recital.
As Mr. Robert Shaubach told LSNews.org after the combined orchestra festival last fall, "The benefit of this concert is that the younger students get to see what they can accomplish if they keep going ... 'I see what the big kids are doing'".
--Jacky Kirchner, LSNews.org Features Editor