Patrick B. McGuigan, The City Sentinel
Warr Acres, Oklahoma – From the familiar tune of Wolfgang A. Mozart’s “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” to the dynamic composition “Spirit of the Stallion” (a work developed specifically for advanced elementary bands by Brian Balmages) a robust collection of works were received enthusiastically at a recent concert presentation held in the gymnasium at a local Catholic school.
The evening commenced with a trio of beginning band tunes, including “Twinkle,” J.S. Pierpont’s classic “Jingle Bells” and ever-reliable “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.”The advanced band (with students from Christ the King and St. Charles) demonstrated dexterity and discipline under the guidance of their conductor.
Just days before the start of Advent (traditional season of preparation and reflection in advance of Christmas), their presentation included a traditional tune with spiritual meaning, “The First Noel.”
“A Classical Canon” (the stirring composition of Hayden/Magill as arranged by Pearson & Gott) was an audience favorite. “Frosty the Snowman” (unveiled decades ago by Steve Nelson & Jack Rollins) and “Holly Jolly Christmas” certainly contributed to the joyful mood.Rounding out the evening, the rollicking “Happy” (from the Minions film, “Despicable Me 2”) had youngsters and adults alike clapping hands and getting with the beat.
The beginning band, with members drawn from the fourth and fifth grades at the two schools, included Flutists Lilly Morton, Kate Walworth, Catherine Whitmarsh, Liam Cory and Bella Butler. The reedy tones from the pair of clarinets were the work of Tatum Kesceg and Ruby Goodwin.
At home on the trumpets were Avery Shouse, Jack Reese, Maren Camp, Diana Corona and Gabriel Litchfield, while the deep notes of the trombones were the work of Angel DeLara, Mia Morrissey and Athen Rosales. The pair of percussionists for the beginning band included Andrew Cory and Gaby Asplaugh.
As for the advanced band personnel, Flutists were Josie Peterson, Nicole Figuera and Samathan Rios; on the Clarinets were Caroline Young, Emma Bannister, Jorge Velasco, McLoud Buergler, Noah Lipps, Annie Blake, Ali Catalano and Kira Bacon.
The Baritone Horn blending nicely was the work of Ian Paxton. Trumpeteers in the ensemble were Keegan Lassiter, Andrew Black, Kennedy Flinton, Finn Caldwell, Ben Jones, Lucy Rosenhamer, Charles Lorenz, Harrison Fried, Eli Webb, Matthew Dedeke, Sam Whitmarsh and Drake Mossauer.
Rounding out the horns, on the trombones, were Collin Lipps, Patrick Reese, Matthew Morris, Yurem Lara and Cross Williams.
Percussion work nimbly flowed (both in the timed music and in the sea of motion as the performers went from one instrument to the next) from Madelyn Cory, Jack Farrell, Travis Loeffelholz, Gannon Harkey, Lili Currie, Connor Samuels and Emelia Chambers.
The Thursday, November 29 event combined the band students of Christ the King Catholic School and Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic School, along with a student from Yukon’s St. John Nepomuk, and represented the culmination of the fall season for the 53 young musicians.
The Fall Band concert, under the enthusiastic leadership of Ms. Elyse Angelo, was held at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School in Warr Acres. Grandparents, parents, teachers, classmates and friends packed the gym bleachers for the event.
Elyse Angelo is the director and conductor of the combined bands.