Let there be music

Posted on December 18, 2008


Joanna Hicks sent an email: Would I like to go to the Central Lake Winter/Christmas program? She’d pick me up. Well, I didn’t see how I could go wrong. So there we were last night sitting on the bleachers in the high school gym, watching the kids file in, brass gleaming, parents applauding.

A hundred years ago I was in my high school concert band and in the marching band, too. I had no musical talent so I practiced a lot. I loved being in the band. I am a sucker for student band concerts.  I also know something about the quality of student band performances. (I had no talent for playing, but I had a lot of talent for listening.) I tell you all this so you will know why I had such a good time last night.

  • The 6th Grade Band had been together for just 14 weeks, but everyone managed to get to the end together. You may think this is a patronizing remark, but it is not. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get to the end together? Very hard. Think about Congress. Ha. Good job, 6th graders.  Good job, Director Nancy Schoensee. 

Central Lake Sixth Grade Band

  • The Middle School Band demonstrated the next level of difficulty and accomplishment, playing harmony in harmony. Again, I ask you, is this easy? It is not. Good job, middle school students.  Good job with this one, too, Mrs. Schoensee. 

Central Lake Middle School Band - Brass Section and Friends

  • The High School Band performed the most difficult selections with real polish and a rich, full tone. They had me with the first chords of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Procession of the Nobles.  (Joanna says they get ones—as in Excellent—at state band competitions and I can believe it.)  Good job, high school students.  Good job Director Alison Hendry.

Central Lake High School Band

No band plays as well as these do unless its members work hard, enjoy what they are doing, and are well led. Mrs. Schoensee and Mrs. Hendry should be proud. So should the students. So should their parents. So should the taxpayers. We’re getting our money’s worth.  You might want to go sometime.  There will be concerts at the Central Lake High School gym on February 23 and April 15.  I’ll remind you.

Photographer Jim SchoenseeFreelance photographer Jim Schoensee was there, taking much better pictures than mine.  You can see all of them online in his Christmas Concert albums: Central Lake High School Band and Central Lake Sixth Grade and Middle School Bands.