March is Music In Our Schools Month! As part of this month-long celebration of music, the Montgomery County Concert Band of which I am a member participated in a unique and positive musical experience that combined generations of musicians.
Led by directors Stephen Frederick and Chuck Neidhardt, the adult band participated in a combined concert with the Colonial Middle School Wind Ensemble from Plymouth Meeting, PA, under the direction of Mr. David O’Neill. Being able to focus the energy and passion for music of both bands was a wonderful underscore to this month-long celebration.
As stated so clearly in the program, “Through the Arts, young people learn life skills that will allow them to become successful, contributing members in our society in a variety of professions.” This statement was borne out by the 52 middle school musicians and the 73 concert band members, representing a wide array of professions, all of whom contributed their passion for music that evening.
The middle school ensemble began the concert with Bellingrath Gardens, A Song for Friends, 21 Guns and The Torch of Liberty. The concert band then took over performing Pathfinder of Panama, Pageant, Trail of Tears, Maple Leaf Forever, Battle of Shiloh and America the Beautiful. We brought the concert to a close with both bands performing The Witch and the Saint, Among the Clouds and The Stars and Stripes Forever.
As a member of the percussion section, it was a joy to work, interact and perform with the middle school students. As fate would have it, on the night of the concert a few of the middle school percussionists fell ill. The adults pitched in and helped out where we could, adding a true spirit of cooperation to the event.
If you haven’t done so already this month, take time to find a concert to attend, thank a music teacher or encourage a young musician. We all know people are better for having music in their lives, and March is a great time to share that message with young people and the adults that teach them.
More about the Montgomery County Concert Band: http://www.montcoband.org/home.html