By John Anderson
Any parent who has a child playing a musical instrument endures many hours of practice at home. In the early years, it can be rough, but as the child’s skills improve, the results can be warming to the heart and even to the ears.
Auburn’s All Town Band Concert is a great reminder of this process as the progression of musical skills is artfully presented. At grade 5, the songs have a limited number of notes, and the rhythms are simple. In middle school, the music becomes more complicated and pleasing. By high school, the depth of the music is nothing short of inspiring.
The results of a solid musical education program were evident last Wednesday, and recognition needs to go out to the educators who develop these young musicians, the parents who invest in instruments, and the children who work very hard to become better.
The Auburn Public School District also deserves credit for keeping the arts alive in Auburn while many other communities have abandoned these programs.
The Combined Grade 5 Bands from Julia Bancroft and Pakachoag started the evening under the direction of Mr. Steven Jaszek and Mrs. Maria Garrow. The band performed March Across the Seas, Banana Boat, and Indigo Rock.
Mr. Collin Meyers directed the Auburn Middle School Grade 6 Band as they performed Astro Overture and Arabian Suite. The Grade 7&8 Band played The Washington Post March and the Blue Ridge Reel with instruments like the spoons and washboard.
The Auburn High School Band performed three pieces conducted by Ms. Virginia Bailey, Rolling Thunder, Electricity, and Symphonic Dance No. 2 Fiesta. Anna Maria Student Sarah Collins, who has been working with the band this year, directed a very moving and well-performed song, Solas Ana.
As each band completed their performance they left the stage and went to another area of the auditorium. The last number, Star Wars Raiders March brought all the musicians together. Students were on the stage, in the balcony, and even in the aisles.
Complete with confetti cannons, there could not have been a better way to cap off the evening. This was a great performance by everyone, and if you haven’t been in a few years, mark the date in 2015. You will not be disappointed.