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JCHS Band plays sounds of the season

By Lacy Hilliard
The Johnson County High School Band held their annual Christmas Concert in the Johnson County Middle School Gymnasium on Thursday, December 12. The concert was well attended by parents, friends and faculty members.
For the past several years, the band has struggled through various changes in Director and last year they were faced with several members graduating, leaving their numbers depleted. Jacob Pitts has been directing the band for the past two years and while he knows the program has dwindled in number, he remains optimistic about the future and plans to continue to promote the band and work to increase their numbers. “We did extremely well at several marching competitions this year,” said Pitts, which is impressive considering the experience level of the majority of the band. However, for what they lack in size, they certainly made up for in musicianship.
The concert opened with a performance by the Beginning Band, which is comprised of Cassidy Fenner on flute, Jarred Boyd on trumpet, Jason Stanley on trombone, and Noah Mullen playing percussion. The Beginning Band performed several traditional holiday songs including Jingle Bells, My Dreydl, Up On a Housetop, and Jolly Old St. Nicholas. Considering that each Beginning Band student had only been playing their instruments for three months at the time of the concert; the Beginning Band members did a phenomenal job of carrying out the holiday classics.
Next to perform at the 2013 Christmas Concert was the Intermediate Band. Members of the Intermediate Band include Amberli Clinebell and Makayla Fritts on flute, Laura Austin, Mackenzie Cooke, and Chloe Jones on clarinet, Maesen Green on also saxophone, Tristan Dishman on tuba, and Chase McGlamery holding down percussion. McGlamery is also a member of the High School Symphonic Band. The Intermediate Band performed Let Heaven and Nature Sing, Christmas Chimes, A Christmas Hymn, and Welcome Christmas. The progression from Beginner to Immediate Band proves that these students work hard to learn their instruments and the Intermediate band carried out a performance the caliber of musicians far their senior.
The Johnson County High School Symphonic Band was last to take center stage at the 2013 Christmas Concert. Members of the High School Symphonic Band include Moriah Franklin, Chris Price, Corina Ward, and Makayla Wood on flute, Mackenzie Robinson, Katelyn Osborne and Jessica Rife on clarinet, Thomas Lawrence, Jeffery Rife, Christian Dugger and Kitaira Magin on also saxophone, Will Sutherland on tenor saxophone, Dakota Bryant on baritone saxophone, Weston Smith, Abby Potter, Halie Howard, Stacy Ward, Camron Swafford and Brittany Church on trumpet, Travis Forrester and Caleb Reece on euphonium, Warren Arnold on trombone, Bryan Lay on tuba and Cala Courtner, Patrick Sutherland, Abby Miller, and Ronnie McDaniel on percussion.
The JCHS Symphonic Band gave an impressive performance, proving that regardless of challenges, they are still a force to be reckoned with. Opening with a beautiful and dynamically driven version of And He Shall Be Named Emmanuel, the band quickly grabbed the attention of the audience. As they eased through challenging tunes like Do You Hear What I Hear and The Wexford Carol, the JCHS Symphonic band saved the best for last. The clear crowd pleaser of the night was the theme from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Percussionist Cala Courtner traded her drumsticks for an electric bass and percussion instructor Adam Berry accompanied her on drum set. The fun-loving favorite ended the Symphonic Band performance on a positive note. Lastly, the Symphonic Band and Intermediate Band combined to play the final piece of the evening – Dallas Burke’s “Angels on Parade.”
The band will begin to prepare for their Spring Concert following Winter Break. Many plans are in the works for the 2014 Marching Season and the band hopes that they will continue to gain support from community members and all those in support of the arts. If you’re a middle or high school student that is interested in joining the band, see Jacob Pitts and take the first step toward becoming a part of the time-honored Pride of Johnson County.