It was beginning to sound a lot like Christmas


Photo courtesy of vxla

12 drummers drumming, 11 pipers piping ...
The 2012-13 AAJHS Music Dept. has been “hittin’ the clocks” since the football season ended to impress audiences of all kinds in the school. From Chorus, to Concert Orchestra, to the Jazz Bands and more, the effortput out has been non-stop, according to the students.                                                                             Photo courtesy of queropere



The music department at AAJHS never takes a rest, not even for the holidays that just recently passed. From  Chorus, to Concert Orchestra, to the Jazz Bands and more, the effort put out has been non-stop, according to the students.

“Just as we [are] getting used to a piece of music, another song is thrown at us. [Music is] very challenging,” said Christian Wesner, one of the five percussionists of the ninth grade class this year.

Day, after day, new events have been occurring, forcing the musical groups to cope with temporarily smaller groups, no chairs, or no room to fit everyone in attendance into the classroom, stage, etc. Yet, the music department has charged on, challenging the beliefs that the year is over after football games and fall concerts.

In the branch involving the band, Kent Martin has been charging full speed, trying various pieces of music for all of eighth period, excluding the final two minutes and the “in-between time” to switch sheet music.  His determination  is expected to reflect in upcoming performances and concerts. This determination has sparked Martin on to the point of teaching a usually-forgotten set of information, key to the playing of any instrument, the musical scales (in various keys).

These reviews, essential to additional comprehension of musicality, have made the words “This will be on a test!” very familiar to most of his band.

“[Not to give the impression that band is ‘paper-working’ it’s members] All the directors are great and we’re all having so much fun,” said ninth grader Austin Cheers of the Varsity Band trumpet section.

Not only has Martin led his band in glory, but he and Jon Yon intend to take the jazz bands with them, supposedly.

Their campaign to the elementary schools has increased the fame of their students, “ [hopefully adding] numbers to next year’s band[s],” said Martin in a speech about the importance of appearance to his drum section.

Speaking of Yon, his seventh grade band has been keeping up with their seniors with music at a level for the typical eighth and/or ninth grade band. They have been showing great playing ability, according to many Varsity Band members and family members.

The drum coach, Shawn Cerully, has been putting in time with both Junior Varsity and Varsity band in the hopes of adding to the experience of the future and current drum section.

In the chorus branch, Jessica Connell has been fighting on, as shown with the previous vocal ensemble and seventh grade concert. From seventh grade to ninth she has followed the trend of using other branches of the school extracurricular activities, such as the cooperation with the Drama Club and Junior Varsity Band to extend the concerts and add variety.

In said Drama Club, a performance of “A Christmas Carol” focused the audience on what Charles Dickens interpreted Christmas should be. Such a performance included Collin Dougherty, as “Tiny Tim”, Zachary Bender, as “Scrooge”, Chris Wible as “Fred Scrooge” and many more.

“Tiny Tim’s” signature words, “God bless us everyone!” echoed through the silent crowd watching the dramatic show meant to enhance the feel of the crowd for the holidays before the orchestra’s musical serenade.

“I know,” Bender said after approached and complemented on the performance.

In the orchestra branch, Kelly Detwiler has been practicing more and more. With her symphonic orchestra, a concert was to be expected on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Surprises were revealed and her orchestra, which had band members practice less than 10 times, once a week, except for the week prior to (in which there were three practices), presented a performance to shake the auditorium.

In addition, she played a variety of music to apply to various religions and ethnicities. Such music included Chanukah, reggae, African and classical Christmas music.

“Symphonic is a great way to bring orchestra and band together,” said Wesner when asked about his opinion on band members joining the Symphonic Orchestra.

To add to the Christmas surprises, Principal Brad Hatch made an appearance as Santa Clause’s “helper”, reciting “Twas the night before Christmas” from a rocking chair. He was greeted by the cheers of students chanting “Santa! Santa!”

In the words of Detwiler in her Symphonic Orchestra Christmas concert speech, “Music plays a big part in that,” about the education and advancements of music department members. Now, with the holidays at an end, the students and family of students at AAJHS may look ahead to the various spring performances with many more surprises in store.