Creative back-to-back band concerts bring future expectations

Kylie Carrier , Entertainment Editor

To end the first semester, band performed two concerts back-to-back. On Dec. 12 and 13, the students presented a range of music from holiday- to animal-cracker-themed pieces.

“Back-to-back concerts are still just as enjoyable. It can be a challenge to prepare the music in such a short time, but it’s one that our bands are certainly capable of doing, especially when the music is so fun to play,” Jori Oztunguc, junior, said.

The first performance was considered a fall band concert, which consisted of the concert and symphonic bands.  Focusing on music known to spread holiday cheer, these bands worked on their specific music for at least a month and a half prior to the performance.

“Band concerts lately have consisted of older pieces of music, and the honors bands have been working on holiday music,” Junior Claudia Kuran said.

The second performance was the holiday collage concert featuring the MHS music department. This show included the jazz and symphonic band along with the choir program.

This concert consisted of holiday classics like “Sleigh Ride” and music from the “Nutcracker”.

Another memorable piece from the concerts was a piece titled “Animal Krackers” composed by Christopher Tucker.

“The symphonic band, directed by Mr. [Jerry] Shelato, programmed a piece of music called “Animal Krackers,” which was composed in four movements to represent the joy of eating animal crackers,” Director Andy Sturgeon said. “Opening it out of the box and then each movement is based off of one of the characters that animal crackers come in.”

Tucker thanked the MHS program through Facebook for using his work.

To prepare for this back-to-back experience, the band directors expected students to play entirely as a band during the school day and later work on their individual parts.

“They’ve been practicing individually with their parts for the concert and then rehearsing as an ensemble during our band classes with how those parts fit together,” Sturgeon said.

Several band members said they felt accomplished representing the Mundelein community with their creative performances both nights. They also said the experience helped freshmen get a feel for how concerts are run and why students enjoy being a part of band.

“Band is a great experience for students because it opens up the new generations to older instrumental music; playing an instrument is like speaking a different language, and I can’t imagine my life without music,” Kuran said.

The directors added the nights set the foundation for future concerts.

Sturgeon said, “As we perform this music, it’s hoping to be a stepping block that we’ve learned some concepts and advanced our musicianship to be able to perform more complex music later on in the year within each of the ensembles at whatever level those ensembles are playing.”