High Plains students perform final concert

Students from 22 schools gathered on Tuesday night to perform for the 47th annual High Plains Band & Choir Festival at Memorial Hall.

After spending Monday and Tuesday rehearsing, high schoolers from surrounding area displayed their two-days worth of work in a final performance before heading home. Under the direction of CSC’s band and choir directors, the groups performed an hour-long concert for an audience of about 250.

The evening began with six pieces by the High Plains Honor Choir, which was comprised of 68 students. The opening song was  “Cantante Domino” by Hans Leo Hassler, an upbeat Latin piece.

Following the quick notes of “Cantante” was “If Music Be the Food of Love” by David C. Dickau, a romantic piece with a slower tempo.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Honor and Glory” was the third performance, which Honor Choir director Joel Schreuder, professor of music, described as a “mock feud” between tenors, bass, sopranos and altos.

“Fresh and Fearless” by Daniel Elder marked the fourth song. Schreuder explained this song was a “challenge” for the choir due to its swift rhythmic changes.

“This was a real challenge for us, with the harmony and rhythm. You’ll hear that it’s in 10/8 time, which is divided 3-3-2-2. It’s kind of like a special dance,” Schreuder said.

James Mulholland’s “A Red, Red Rose”, from Four Robert Burns Ballads was the second to last song performed. The final piece, “Praise His Holy Name!” by Keith Hampton, ended the choral performance on a light gospel note.

Following an intermission where a student guitar ensemble, directed by Mckay Tebbs, assistant professor of music, and a keyboard ensemble, directed by Brooks Hafey, assistant professor of music, performed, the 77-member Honor Band took the stage. The band was led by John Wojcik, the newly-appointed Director of Bands and Instructor of Brass at CSC.

The first piece performed was “Incandescence,” a high-energy opener by Richard Saucedo. Second was “Sea Songs” by Ralph Vaughn Williams and arranged by Robert Longfield, the fourth movement of Vaughan Williams’ English Folk Song Suite.

“Wayfaring Stranger,” arranged by Bill Locklear, provided a slower tempo than the previous songs.

“Four Dance Episodes,” a mixture of lively tempos and emotional ballads by Gary Gilroy, closed out the night.

Recognition awards were given to students in both band and choir who had participated for three or four years.

CSC will hear its third music performance this week on Saturday as guest artists from University of Wyoming join Hafey for a chamber music concert, 7 p.m. Saturday, in the Mari Sandoz Center Chicoine Atrium.

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