What’s in a band concert?

By Mike Pankonien

Staff Writer

I had looked forward to Thursday all week; not Friday. But when I learned that I actually had a band concert that night, all my plans got skewed. Instead of going home at four and catching up on sleep like I’d planned, I got to watch TV for a couple hours and kiss my home goodbye till later that night. What took me so long at the concert? Let me walk you through it:

6:00 p.m. – Arrive at band hall

6:10 p.m. – Check out concert uniform

6:15 p.m. – Find out kid threw up in warm up room; warm-up postponed.

6:30 p.m. – 4th band (my band) begins to warm up in main room (which had to be cleared for us since there was puke everywhere in our normal room).

7:00 p.m. – Go on stage; begin concert.

7:20 p.m. – Wrap up final song. We played three different pieces and also set aside a few minutes to honor the seniors in our band.

7:30 p.m. – Take seats in the audience to watch the other bands perform.

7:40 p.m. – 3rd band performs three different pieces and also honors seniors. Most notable piece was an Aaron Copland melody (if you think you haven’t heard of him, you have).

8:00 p.m. – 3rd band wraps up and takes up seats in the audience as well. Sadly, they sit on the other side of the auditorium so I miss out on sitting next to any of my friends in that band.

8:10 p.m. – 2nd band enters the stage. The performance of 2nd band heralds a next step in the level of skill of the band. 5th, 4th, and 3rd bands are all skilled groups, but 2nd and 1st band take it too the next level. Most notable piece included a rendition of Phantom of the Opera featuring the trombone section wearing Phantom masks to settle the mood. I’d easily say it was the best piece all night.

8:30 p.m. – 2nd band takes seats in front of my part of the auditorium. Using this opportunity I was able to get a better spot next to some friends in 2nd band.

8:40 p.m. – 1st band comes on stage. Their performance was unique since they had only learned their music roughly an hour before the show (and they still sounded phenomenal). Previously they had been recording a different set of pieces (including one that was at least 20 minutes long) for the state concert band competition, but then switched to the shorter set for this show. Their most notable piece was one which was actually composed by a member of the audience and a former band parent.

9:00 p.m. – 1st band finishes, Mr. Mason bids adieu, and we are all allowed to leave.

9:20 p.m. – Check in uniform (takes a little longer when the band hall is packed).

9:30 p.m. – Get a ride from long time friend Connor Wilkinson.

10:00 p.m. – Finally leave band hall. Any sane person would’ve left the band hall by now to go home, but not only is my friend one of the twelve people who are always the last to leave (very sociable guy, Connor) but one of our drum majors from the previous year, William McKee, came by and catching up with him took time.

10:10 p.m. – Arrive at home; begin studying for spanish.

So there you go; the band so far had been lucky to “avoid” having to stay for all the performances but our luck ran out with that concert. Overall however it was a good concert to end the year on.