Every year in late winter, this year March 2, Black Hills High School manages the largest concert of the year, known as the 6 through 12 grade concert.
This concert, as is easily divulged from the name thereof, invites all students in the band program at elementary, middle, and high school levels, in schools that shepard towards BHHS, to all participate in a display of the progress these musicians can and will make as they progress their musical education.
This performance showcases sixth graders who have newly begun the program from THE, MTS, and BLE; middle schoolers with a greater understanding of music and a greater variety of instrumentation from TMS, including their very own jazz band; and concludes with a performance from the high school’s Concert, Symphonic, and Jazz bands as a demonstration of the potential every student has and can achieve in the Tumwater School District, Black Hills style.
This concert allows for a genuine connection between the bands and their diverse members, quieting some of the intimidation and insecurities found across the age gaps. In some cases, such as for oboist Paige Hinman, freshman at BHHS, the band program and concerts like this have helped her “know a lot of upperclassmen and made high school a lot more fun.”
It also allows for younger or more inexperienced students to witness examples of what measure of self-improvement the band program offers. Bradley Grimm, a middle school oboist, stated how listening to the high school bands was inspiring to him, highlighting how “you get to play cooler music when you get better, and when you’re in high school you get better.”
Each band performed a tune or two, picked out by the directors for their particular ability level, reminding older students where they come from as they listen along to the lower grade levels. From Beatles hits to Disney movie scores, this concert was designed to entertain the families watching alongside the other bands. Malcolm Meierbachtol, a sixth grade oboist, mentioned how “the music sounded awesome, and I really liked The Incredibles. I couldn’t help but dance in my seat.”
At the end of it all, every student from 6th through 12th performed one song all together, this year a regal number called Royal March. Although somewhere in the middle half the bands were off by a measure, it is widely regarded as the best part of the concert.
PHOTO CAPTION: The BHHS Concert band, along with the rest of the band program, performing Royal March, the final song of the 6 through 12 grade concert.
By Meredith Sayler