US Band Shines at 2023 Winter Concert


Alpesh Patel

The Upper School Band waits intently to play their first piece, March Wünderbar.

At the winter concert last week, the Upper School band’s talent was on full display through solos and group work, producing unique and interesting pieces that helped the school close out the school year with a joyous bang.

At the beginning of the year, the band learned pep songs for Homecoming, and as a result, they were not able to begin preparation for their concert pieces until October. Freshman Peter Pinto said, “It’s definitely been pretty tough after working on pep band music, but I feel like we’re ready, and we’re going to do great.” The Upper School band was ready for their show.

The band opened the concert with “March Wünderbar” by Randall D. Standridge. While the piece was dynamically interesting, the melody throughout remained consistent. Also featured was clapping by the band during multiple sections. Overall, the song had an upbeat and happy tone.

“This was the song that took us the longest to master, but we got it done,” freshman Emillio Espinoza said.

The next song was “Swahili Folk Hymn,” a traditional folk song arranged by Kevin Mixon. This song started with the percussion section, which featured freshman Aryan Patel on cowbell and senior Richard Heller on congos. The flutes also played a significant role in the song by introducing the central theme. The piece had four soloists: sophomore Tucker Thayer on alto saxophone, sophomore Nick Wheatley on flute, freshman Kerry Koranteng on trumpet, and sophomore Miles Stagman on trombone. “The band sounded really good in the song, especially the percussion,” freshman Benjamin Rouse said after watching the concert.

The final song was “Wizards in Winter,” written by Paul O’Neill and Robert Kinkel and arranged by Bob Phillips and George Megaw. This song sounded almost like a fanfare of winter, with the flutes and the glockenspiel carrying much of the music, along with an alto saxophone feature. After the middle section, the band slowly rose to the song’s main theme before quieting down and then building to a crescendo at the end.

Overall, the US band did a tremendous job at the concert. They were energetic and full of life, and their hard work during practices and classes paid off. Band director Cynthia Gradek said, “The concert performance was very good for this time of the year, and I look forward to our continued growth as the year progresses.”