Tuesday, January 19, 2010

St. Bernard participates in Cullman Honor Band

St. Bernard Preparatory School participated in the 27th Annual Cullman County Honor Band held January 16 at Wallace State College in Hanceville. The Honor Band was comprised of two hundred and twenty-five of the county’s top musicians from ten junior high and senior high school bands.

Students arrived at Wallace State on Friday evening and were judged according to several criteria. These included the playing of various types of musical scales, performing a prepared selection, and “sight reading” a piece that was completely new.

On Saturday students met at 8:30 am and rehearsed all day to prepare music for the concert Saturday evening. The Junior High Honor Band under the conduction of Michael Holmes, Mountain Brook School, played The Great Escape by Robert W. Smith; Accidentally in Love by Michael Sweeney; and Joshua by Andrew Balent. St. Bernard Middle School student, Daniel Coccia was first chair in the tenor saxophone competition and his classmate, Jake Sweeney, was seated third chair with his alto saxaphone.

Dr. Sue Samuels, Professor of Music, University of Alabama – Birmingham, conducted the Senior High Honor Band as they played four tunes: Host of Freedom by Karl L. King; Credo by Alabama Native, Robert W. Smith; A Kindred Spirit by Robert Sheldon; and Josef Zawinal’s - Birdland.

Mark McDaniel, a sophomore at SBP, earned the 15th spot of twenty-seven students in the trumpet section.

SBP Band Director, Lester Harris, said, “I am very proud of the progress our students are making. It’s quite an undertaking to play all those pieces in such a short amount of time.”

At the closing of the performance Dr. Samuels said what these students accomplished over the weekend would have taken seven days of class time to complete. “You are to be commended for your hard work and dedication. You learned in one weekend what it would have taken a whole week to accomplish in class.” Dr. Samuels concluded her remarks by encouraging students to participate in as many college honor bands as possible.

The event was sponsored by the Cullman Band Directors Association and Wallace State Community College.

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