The Great Bend Middle School band students were busy in the first months of 2020. The GBMS Jazz Band performed at the Bryce Luty Jazz Festival at Hutchinson Community College on Jan. 31. During the festival they were critiqued by three adjudicators and had a clinic with Clint Ashlock, the Artistic Director of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, after their performance. Several individuals from the jazz band were awarded “outstanding musicianship” certificates.
The jazz band along with the 7th and 8th grade bands had a concert on Feb. 5. On Feb. 6, the two concert bands performed at their “in house” music festival for clinician and former USD 428 Band Director Ron Mink. He gave the bands praise for their work and effort with the pieces they performed as well as pointers on how they could improve as they worked on new pieces in the future.
During this time, several students were also working on solos or on small ensembles. They had a performance of this music on Feb. 25 in the GBMS band room. Then on Friday, March 3, the 8th grade band as well as soloists from the 7th and 8th grades performed at the St. John Invitational Music Festival. Here the 8th grade band received an overall rating of “I” on their band selections. Solos and ensembles were also awarded ratings at this festival. Those receiving a “II” or “excellent” rating were the 8th Grade Flute Trio- Emilee Nelson, Melisa Gonzales and Kimberly Escobedo Valdez; 8th grade Clarinet Trio- Samantha Mayers, Abi Miller and Kaylin Walhmeier; 7th Grade Mixed Trio - Ailey Williams, flute, Brandon Morgan, alto saxophone, Anderson Luttrell, trombone; and soloists Daniel Cruz, clarinet and Kimberly Escobedo Valdez, flute.
Those receiving a “I” or “Outstanding” rating were the 7th Grade Snare Drum Trio- Paige Sanders, Danica Cline and McKayla Smith; 7th Grade Mixed Quartet- Jacklyn Garcia, trumpet, Alondra Vazquez, tenor saxophone, Zoe Buck, trombone and Quinten Miller, bari. saxophone; and the 7th Grade Flute Trio- Darcy Feist, Cailyn Murphy and Kylee McCormick. The following soloists received a “I” rating: Jordan Boyer, snare drum; Trenton Peterson, trumpet; Cristian Lujan, Tuba; Morgan Beckwith, trumpet; Addison Gibson, bass clarinet; Samantha Mayers, clarinet; Ailey Williams, Kylie McCormick, Eva Ramirez, Emilee Nelson, Cailyn Murphy and Melisa Gonzales all on flute.
“Since we will not be able to have a Spring Concert this year, I felt it necessary to share the accomplishments of these students” stated Don Regehr, band director at GBMS. “I’m very proud of these students.”