“Going Out with a Bang!”

Keeley Walker, Writer

The 2023 spring semester for the band has been a hit! Not only did the band perform well for their home concerts, but they also did a good job at districts and the Azalea Parade. What’s more, they have begun to mentor younger students as part of a program developed by their director.

On March 2, 2023, the band competed in districts, where they received 2’s in every category. They played the songs “Spit Fire” by William Owens and “Music Speaks” by Randall Standridge. “Music Speaks” is a slower tempo, while “Spitfire” is much faster. On the same day, the band held their final winter concert at the middle school, where their scores were revealed to the students. Everyone was very ecstatic and proud of how much they have grown this year. 

On April 27, 2023, they held their spring concert. They arrived with a new range of songs plus an old one, “Spitfire,” that they had been working on for only a short amount of time. They performed “Disney Film Favorites” by Johnnie Vinson and “With Valor and Honor” by Mark Williams. During this concert the building was completely packed. Every single seat was taken, and the back of the room plus the sides were filled to the brim with parents and friends!

Caleb Weber (12) directing the 7th and 8th grade band.

For the spring concert, head drum major Caleb Weber directed the 7th and 8th grade band. Caleb plans to become a teacher once he graduates. He has attended UniTec the past two years, which allowed him the opportunity to shadow a teacher. He chose his band director, Mrs. Shelby Leo, and doing so allowed him to work with the 7th- and 8th-grade students that he directed. The students love Caleb and are so grateful to have had him this year. 

While in the past, the high school and middle school bands have not intertwined when performing, Mrs. Leo has changed that this year. For the Azalea Parade, the 7th and 8th grade band joined with the high schoolers to play a magnificent arrangement of “Bang Bang,” co-written by Ariana Grande, Jessie J, and Nicki Minaj. It gave the upcoming students a close-up look as to what high school band is like and how it works.

Not only did the 7th and 8th graders play at Azalea, but they worked with the high school band at graduation as well. They now have experience playing the graduation standard “Pomp and Circumstance” by Robert Foster.

This year has been amazing for the band, and every student has grown tremendously. With the year coming to an end, students are grateful for all of the opportunities that Mrs. Leo has given them and how much she has made them grow. You can really say this year that they are “going out with a bang!”