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George West bands play the soothing sounds of Springtime at concert
by Pam Sehlke
May 27, 2009 | 878 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GW High School tuba players Colton “Cotton” Warren and Robby Barta sport their own humorous flair to El Toro Rojo Grande during their final high school band concert.
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The annual spring concert of the George West Band took place Tuesday evening, May 19.

The junior high students performed first. Their opening selection was March of the Irish Guard by Ployhar. Everyone loves a march, and the students did not disappoint the audience. Pierre La Plante’s The Band in the Square on the Fourth of July gave listeners the feel of watching a band pass by in a parade. Quintology by Meyer was the third selection, and as the title suggests it focuses on the number five throughout, although there were several featured players in the number. Mary Cansino, Ella Lowrance, Victoria Wasicek, Morgan Benavides, Clarisa Arciba, Joseph Feist, Ellen Nance, and Ally Guzman had special parts during the piece.

Warren Barker’s beautifully arranged rendition of Over the Rainbow featured clarinet soloist Katelyn Keach. Before the last selection of American Patrol by F.W. Meacham, awards were presented. A special group of parents was recognized for their support throughout the year, but particularly for their help with travel. Three students received special awards: Anderson Daniels, Katelyn Keach, and Ella Lowrance. These students were chosen as outstanding musicians based on a point system for achievements earned throughout the year.

After a brief break to allow changing of bands on stage, the Big Blue Band from Longhorn Land took their turn at entertaining the audience. Our directors love marches, so the high school musicians also opened their concert with a march, S.S. Eagle March by Robert Russell Bennett. Balmages’ rendition of Rain created a quieter mood after the exciting march. El Toro Rojo Grande brought everyone back to life. Orcino’s arrangement featured trumpet soloists James Perez, Mario Rodriguez and Luke Sehlke, although the visual highlight was the sombrero donned dynamic duo of senior tuba players Robby Barta and Colton Warren. After the exciting Latin number, The Willows of Winter by Brooks brought everyone back to a more calming frame of mind.

During the intermission, more awards were presented. Linda Lopez and Lynette Barta received plaques from the band for their years of dedication to the booster club organization. Senior band students receiving scholarships were Nicole Garza, Jessica Gasaway, Robby Barta, Viviana Lopez, and Winston Daniels. Outstanding Senior Band Member was Viviana Lopez, Outstanding Junior Band Member was Sara Roach, Outstanding Sophomore Band Member was Lauren Cordani and Outstanding Freshman Band Member was Samantha Cantu. These awards are voted on by the band members, which make the honor more valued. Winston Daniels received the John Phillip Sousa award, which is given nationally to top senior members. Before their final numbers, students presented Doc and Mr. Cordani with t-shirts highlighting their productive year.

The Great Locomotive Chase by Robert W. Smith, which is based on historical events of the Civil War, proved to be a crowd favorite. The performers enjoyed the piece as well, creating the sounds of a steam engine with their mouths as well as instruments. The final selection of the night was an emotional piece composed by Frank Ticheli in memory of those who lost their lives at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, and in honor of the survivors. An American Elegy offers a sense of hope for our country and expresses the delicateness of life. Lauren Cordani and Luke Sehlke were featured soloists in this moving number. Mrs. Dita Martin expressed her feelings about the number, stating, “I almost cried. It was beautiful.”

Now that concert season has concluded, the band will begin working on music for the fall’s marching season. Color guard members, drum majors, and musicians will attend clinics and camps over the summer in hopes of continuing the tradition of excellence!
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