Band and orchestra student join forces for winter concerts


Lucas Barr

Band and orchestra students are coming together Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. to perform together as part of their winter concerts in the auditorium. This yearly tradition serves as a chance for students to connect over music.

Hannah Beeler and Grant Milleson

Continuing their yearly tradition, groups of both the band and orchestra are coming together Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. to perform a classic holiday song as part of their winter concerts in the auditorium.

“The band and orchestra will combine only with the Wind Ensemble and then the top two orchestras,” assistant director of bands Cecily Yoakam said. “They will combine on Tuesday night, during the orchestra concert, and then again on Wednesday at the end of our band concert, to perform Sleigh Ride.”

The unique performance setting offers an opportunity to showcase the hard work of both groups as well as allow them to view music from a new perspective.

“I think it’s super exciting and fun that we’re able to join together with the orchestra for the holiday concerts,” senior Gabby Stiles said. “We’ve spent so much time working on our musicality as a band so it’ll be refreshing to hear music from a different perspective.”

“I think everyone is excited to play ‘Sleigh Ride’ because playing with the band is such a great experience,” sophomore Cindy Trinh said. “Having percussion adds the effects of the piece, woodwinds and brass bringing out more sound, it feels that the piece is complete when you add band alongside an orchestra.”

For many members of both groups, the combination is a welcome change to their usual concert performances, and one they hope will continue on later in the year.

“We combine with the orchestra for several performances throughout the season, but I wouldn’t mind performing with them more often,” sophomore Phoebe Atchley said. “It’s fun, and it sounds really beautiful when we play as one.”

It is the individual growth of each group that Stiles believes is important when the two groups come together.

“I think working together allows us to do a variety of different things,” Stiles said. “The additional instruments allow us to incorporate many unique colors into our sound. It’s important to have a steady balance of working and refining our skills as individual organizations so that we can create new music with others.”

Showcasing their work thus far, the concert also provides the orchestra with the chance to share music with the community.

“I hope students will be able to showcase their hard work and demonstrate the collaboration that happens in our classroom each day,” assistant director Madison Waggerman said. “Music is pure magic and we put on concerts to share the gift of music with the community. I hope our students are able to appreciate the beauty they put in the world by sharing music with other people.”

However, this performance is not the last time that these groups will combine forces, as they are planned to perform in the UIL Full Orchestra Contest.

“There are plans for the two groups to work together in the future,” Yoakam said. “Some members of the Wind Ensemble and the top orchestra will combine together in the Spring Semester to perform pieces for the UIL Full Orchestra Contest. There is also a possibility that they will combine again for the Spring Concert and perform something together there as well.”