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By Audrey Anderson
Hometown Weekly Correspondent
The music department held its Middle School and High School Winter Band Concert on December 19 in the Mudge Auditorium at Dover-Sherborn High School. The full house enjoyed a concert that featured promising young musicians and a broad variety of entertaining musical selections.
A jovial and welcoming master of ceremonies introduced each group and the musical selections they would present. He also used enticing descriptions to generate interest in upcoming music events at Dover-Sherborn High School, such as a chocolate festival. The inclusion of a master of ceremonies gave a context to the performance, allowed time for setup changes, and prepared the audience to appreciate the music being presented.
The High School Concert Band opened the concert with “A Tallis Prelude” by Douglas Akey, a contemplative medieval piece. Their next selection, “On a Shaker Hymn” by Jeffrey Bishop, featured simple melodies passed skillfully around the whole band. Their final selection, “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson, was an energetic holiday piece traditionally played by the Boston Pops at Christmas concerts. The piece is filled with fun musical effects, such as wood blocks imitating the clopping of horses’ hooves, riotous jazzy sections, and trumpets “neighing” like horses. The group encouraged the audience to sing along, using the lyrics printed in the concert program.
Next, the High School Jazz Band entertained the audience with the spirited “Monster’s Inc. Theme” by Randy Newman and arranged by Seth Weeks. They followed with an energetic “Spain” by Chick Corea and arranged by John La Barbera. Talented students offered enthusiastic solos.
The Sixth Grade Concert Band impressed with a stirring rendition of “Finlandia” by Jean Sibelius and arranged by Mark Williams. The students showed their skillful attention to dynamics, phrasing, and intonation in this mature piece. They also demonstrated their skill with “The Tempest” by Robert W. Smith.
The Jazz Eclipse band presented “Watermelon Man” by Herbie Hancock and “One for Daddy-O” by Cannonball Adderley with energy and a definite cool factor. The audience could see that the students were enjoying the freedom and fun of the jazz form. This band was impressively lead by students Katie Rupinski and Will Easley and Assistant Directors Sophia Katz, Ethan Lynch, and Diego Swaddipong.
The Seventh and Eighth Grade Concert Band offered a twinkling “March from The Nutcracker” by Tchaikovsky and arranged by Michael Story. The audience enjoyed this traditional Christmas music, which was presented quite faithfully. The band followed with a rousing “Quad City Stomp” by Michael Sweeney that included jazzy sections, hand clapping, and feet stomping. The students showed that enjoyed this piece.
Finally, the Sharp9 Big Band surprised the audience with powerful and soulful, heartfelt vocals on “Respect” by Otis Redding, arranged by Roger Holmes. “Havana,” arranged by Terry White, included solos by every student in the large band - a deep display of the talent and confidence of each young musician.
Throughout the concert, the skill, dedication, and pride of Directors Janice Barry and Tom Duprey were evident. They and the students performed beautifully in a concert that demonstrated the talent of the current high school students, and the great promise of entertaining concerts for years to come.