By John Anderson
Five school bands and one soloist entertained a full house at Auburn High School last Thursday. The evening began with high energy as the AHS Marching Band complete with Color Guard marched in and filled the aisles. While flags were twirled and percussionists pounded out the beat, the brass players blared from the above balcony. Drum Major Tayla Foulkrod directed, and the musicians’ skill and dedication was consistent with their fall performances on the gridiron that have likewise been well received.
Three middle school bands, divided by the school age of the musicians, followed. Since instrumental music is very new to some students, they are divided so their skills are appropriate for the chosen compositions. It was fantastic to see the complexity of the pieces increase dramatically from Grade 6 to Grade 7 to Grade 8. All were under the direction of Mr. Collin Myers.
In a fun moment, the Grade Six Band was joined by AMS Principal Joe Gagnon who played the water glasses. The Johann Strauss waltz was retitled “Waltz for Band and Water Glasses” and performed with apologies to the composer. AHS senior Matthew Bissaillon performed a wonderful piano solo of Journey’s “Open Arms” that made his musical achievements shine. Matt regularly plays the French horn in the concert band and the Mellophone in the marching band.
The Auburn High Concert Band, directed by Ms. Virginia Bailey, completed the evening. Guest Conductor Allison Ingraham led the band’s second number “Loch Lomond”. Ms. Ingraham is a 2013 graduate of the University of Massachusetts and has spent this fall working with Auburn music students. This was a powerful and well played composition.
The third song was a rousing performance of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” narrated by AHS English teacher James Adams. The band played “Marches des Parachutistes Belges” as the final melody. A great evening with great music!
According to sources, the AHS Marching Band’s long awaited uniforms shipped yesterday and are scheduled to arrive today. It will be great to see the musicians decked out for Tuesday’s rally and last football game.