Clovis High bands to hold winter concert

Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers

Clovis High music students are getting set to take what they’ve learned over the last few months and say goodbye to the fall semester and hello to the Christmas season.

The annual winter concert is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Marshall Auditorium, with holiday-themed music played by the symphonic and concert bands at the high school.

The bands were introduced to the selections they will play shortly after the competitive marching season ended in October, and they dedicated all of their time to it after the football playoffs concluded.

“Once the state championship was played,” assistant director Jim Barnard said, “we’ve pretty much given 100 percent to the Christmas concert.

The final day of CHS’ spring semester is Wednesday. The intent is to schedule the concert as close to Christmas as possible, while also giving the students as much rehearsal time as possible.

“For most people, Christmas lasts for two or three days,” said Keith Sacane, an assistant band director and CHS graduate. “Ours lasts about a month.”

But don’t expect to hear only traditional holiday music.

“It’s a variety of music,” assistant band director Jim Barnard said. “There’s some serious music. Each band usually tries to work in something for the season, either Christmas music, or something appropriate for the season.”

This year’s music is also reflective of other themes. The Jazz I band has not prepared any selections specifically for the concert, but has been selected to play for a Jan. 6 honor band program at Pope Joy Hall in Albuquerque, and the band will give the audience a sneak peek at what it plans to play there.

Another piece to be played is Yagi Bushi, a Japanese folk song. The song, Sacane said, doesn’t fit into the criteria for most competitions, but is still a worthwhile selection for the students.

“We just try to find something that’s fun for the kids, in addition to Christmas stuff,” Sacane said.

The bands are determined in the first few months of school.
“We audition the students,” Barnard said. “We do a series of five auditions, starting at the end of marching season. We divide the groups into two equal groups as far as numbers.”

The groups are then divided by ability. Though there are exceptions, Barnard said, ability usually correlates with age and experience in band. The students judged with the best ability end up in the symphonic band, and the other half forms the concert band.

The concert is held at Marshall Auditorium simply because it is the best place for both seating and acoustics, the directors said.

“They’ve done some work there and it’s really coming along,” Barnard said. “It really is a much better place to play than any place we have in town.”