Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Sounds of the Season

Photos by Evan Brandt

Michael Vought directs the Pottstown High School Concert Band for Tuesday night's holiday concert performance.
So it's that time of the year.

Mistletoe, Christmas cards and, yes, holiday concerts.

Dare I say it? The music program in Pottstown is awesome and my apologies to the vocal music department. I could not make it to your concert Monday night. I'm sure it was wonderful.

But there is only so much time in the day. I have meetings most nights and (I skipped one Tuesday night) my son plays saxophone (full disclosure) so they get the coverage.

As always, it ended with the sing-a-long which is fast becoming one of my favorite Pottstown Holiday traditions ... right after the holiday house tour. See Monday's blog post.

Tuesday night began with a performance of the Pottstown High School Jazz Band, which put this little number together after only one rehearsal:

Then we saw the 5th and 6th Grade Concert Band, led by Nancy Mest and Robert Benton; the Middle School Clarinet Ensemble and Middle School Flute Ensembles, both led by Mrs. Mest.

Here is a sample of those performances:

After intermission, the 7th and 8th Grade Concert Band took to the stage, led by Benjamin Hayes.

This included a nice little number with students in bathrobes reading from The Night Before Christmas and, appropriately enough, Hanukkah Holiday played on the first night of Hanukkah.

They were followed by the High School Clarinet Ensemble and the High School Flute Ensemble, again led by Mrs. Mest.

Here is a sample of those performances.

Finally, despite the ritual rudeness of some Pottstown parents (yes I'm talking about you who leave noisily once your children's portion of the concert is finished) we came to the main event.

The Pottstown High School Concert Band played four numbers, followed by the sing-a-long, but by this time, my battery was singing the blues.

So here is one full song I selected to record, mostly in honor of John Lennon. (I mean seriously, how many school Christmas concerts feature a guy who once declared The Beatles bigger than Jesus. But anyway, water under the bridge...)

And here is a sample of two of the four other works and a tiny bit of song-a-long:

Now, as any of you who have been to one of these concerts knows, this is when the students show their appreciation for all the music department does for them with some nice gifts.

But there was a special presentation Tuesday because this year's seniors started with Mr. Hayes when he taught in the elementary schools, and then moved with him to the middle school.
Mr. Hayes always gets his gum...

And since he helps out with the marching band in high school, they have spent nine years with him.

So the officers of the band, led by President Maverick Somich, gave him a little gift too.

I think it was gum.

Also, some Starbursts and a gift card to a steak house.

By his own admission, he likes gum.

And steak.

And last of all, here is a photo of those holiday-minded souls who stayed until the end so they could
sing-a-long with the band.

(Yes, if you were there, that was me. The guy who went to the front of the auditorium to take your picture.)

So Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Awesome Kwanzaa and all the rest to you and yours from the merry staff at The Digital Notebok.

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