From classic Christmas carols to funky jazz, Huntley’s Winter Band Concert on Dec. 16 had it all. All six bands played their hearts out and showed off all the hard work they have put in over the past two months. All for only 25 minutes of stage time, 25 minutes to do what they love.
The first of the two concerts featured the Symphonic Band, the Jazz Ensemble and the Percussion Ensemble. The Percussion Ensemble is new this year to HHS. It was cancelled a few years ago due to lack of participation, but the current seven percussionists in the Percussion Ensemble showed the audience that the cancellation was a mistake.
The seven students, ranging from sophomore to senior class, along with Nick Konwerski, the Huntley Band Director, payed only three songs. Each piece had a mix of beautiful mallet parts to exciting drum parts. They also mixed in a little bit of jazz in their first song, “Little Jazz Drummer Boy”.
Both Symphonic Band and Jazz Ensemble also featured a Christmas classic in their line up. The Symphonic Band played “A Christmas Festival”, which is a mix of multiple Christmas Carols such as “Joy To The World”, “Deck The Halls” and “Silent Night”. The Jazz Band also played a classic Christmas song but like the Percussion Ensemble, they put a jazz twist on it.
The Jazz Ensemble ‘s version of “White Christmas” had a wonderful swing to it and a fun, fast beat that got everyone in the audience tapping their foot.
The second concert of the night was performed by the Concert Band and Wind Ensemble A and B. The Concert Band, consisting of all freshmen, played a song almost all students in band at HHS know, “Novo Lenio”.
The song starts with a trumpet feature leading to a flute and clarinet feature. Then, all of a sudden, the trumpets die out, and all you can hear is a bell set which turns into a strong percussion feature that completely changes the tone of the song from light and smooth, to deep and dark.
After the percussion feature, the low brass and low reed section come in with a strong, confident, deep feature that solidifies the change in the song. “Novo Lenio” ends just how it began, with a beautiful trumpet, flute and clarinet feature.
The Wind Ensemble B came on stage next and played two beautiful, smooth songs, “Santa’s Christmas Symphony” and “Greensleeves”. They finished with a strong, confident version of “Symphony No. 9 “Finale” ” by Dvorak.
The final band, Wind Ensemble A, played the longest song of the concert. A 23 minute version of “The Nutcracker”. But not just any version. “This is ‘The Nutcracker,’” said Konwerski, right before the band started the song. “The real Nutcracker. The same thing you would hear if you went to the ballet downtown.” He was correct in every way.
The Wind Ensemble A produced the same quality music that would come from an orchestra at a professional show of “The Nutcracker”. The song consisted of eight different movements and during all eight movements, the Huntley PAC was filled with beautiful, amazing, wonderful music. Each and every member of all the bands put passion and love into each note they played and they made the night, truly amazing.