Lafayette Band Area Concert


Sherri McPherson

The Lafayette Symphonic (front) and Concert (back) bands at the Area Concert.

Jacquelyn Cesiro, Staff Writer

Every year in the month of December, several bands in the Fayette County area come to our school for the Lafayette Band Area Concert. The gym floor is packed with nearly 600 student performers from grade levels 5-12. Each band, performs their own pieces that they have prepared for the hundreds of families in the audience. After every band preforms individually, at the end everyone plays Ode to Joy together as one band.

The concert begins promptly at 7:30 with the Lafayette Jazz Band to engage the huge amount of people in the gym. This year they played “John Brown’s Other Body.” After the jazz band plays, the combined 5th grade band plays.

5th grade is when many begin their musical career. The Area Concert is these young students first concert. This year, students from several elementary schools attended the concert. These schools include: Clays Mill, Picadome, the SCAPA 5th grade band, Stonewall, and Wellington. Together these bands played the traditional “Beginning Band Melody” and “Holiday Tunes.”

After the 5th grade plays, the Jessie Clark bands play starting with the 6th grade band. By listening to the bands in order of grade the audience gets to hear the improvement that comes with time and practice. Each band played two pieces,¬† the 6th grade band played “Consensus” and “Jingle Bones,” The 7th grade band played “Labyrinth” and “Caribbean Crustacean,” and the 8th grade band played “Fireburst Fanfare” and “Drive.”

The SCAPA middle school band features students ranging from grades 6-8. This year they also played two pieces titled “Fantasy on an Early American Marching Tune” and “Pieces of Eight.”

Next, the Lafayette concert bands play their music. Concert band played “Winter Fantasy,” Symphonic band played “Chanukah is Here,” and Wind Symphony played “Gavorkna Fanfare” and the classic “Sleigh Ride.”

After each band has performed their pieces, they come together to play Ode to Joy. Obviously, getting 600 musicians to play together is a difficult task. It takes the efforts of 9 conductors the keep all the bands in time with each other. The piece is played slowly so that the 5th graders can play as well. Overall the concert is enjoyable for both the parents and the students.