BMS 8th grade concert band selected to perform local concert next week

November 9, 2018

SCOTTSBLUFF — The Bluffs Middle School eighth-grade concert band was selected as one of the performing groups for the 2018 Nebraska Music Education Association Convention.

Last spring, music teacher Michael Koch submitted an audition recording, which included a variety of musical pieces, to a committee appointed by NMEA. They had to submit three contrasting selections, like a ballad, march or faster tune to showcase different styles and tempos. The Bluffs Middle School band was one of 12 ensembles chosen as a NMEA honor group. The ensembles include both vocal and musical groups from across the state.

Eighth grader Abby Harbeson said the hardest aspect of learning the songs is the rhythms.

“He (Koch) chooses songs that try to challenge us.”

The students have spent their class periods learning and refining eight songs for the NMEA program. The band will perform “Synergies” by Robert Sheldon, “Three American Sketches” arranged by Michael Story, “The Curse Of Tutankhamun” by Michael Story, “Flying Cadets” by Karl L. King and arranged by James Swearingen, “The Rains of Scarborough Fair” arranged by Randall D. Standridge, “Arabian Dances” by Roland Barrett, “Hymn To St. Avold” by Claude T. Smith, and “Pinball Wizard” arranged by Patrick Roszell. The song “Hymn To St. Avold” was written in 1986 and was written for and dedicated to the Scottsbluff Public Schools band department.

“‘Pinball Wizard’ is my favorite because it’s really upbeat and its fun to play,” Bluffs Middle School eighth-grader Reece Abts said.

Koch said the hardest part about the process is the time constraint for the students to learn the songs.

In preparation for their performance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the eighth-grade concert band will hold a concert on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. in the BMS Cafetorium. The concert will feature the music the band will play at the convention. The event is free and open to the public.

“This concert is going to be really fun with a lot of songs that I think everyone will enjoy,” Abts said.

The following day, the students will travel to Lincoln for the convention, which will be held on Nov. 14-16.

Following the convention, the BMS eighth-grade concert band will perform in the Kimball Recital Hall on Friday, Nov. 16, at 9:30 a.m. That performance is also free and open to the public.

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