Band manager John Cook said it was the first time Century Middle School bands had played in public in 734 days. It’s over two years.
In his remarks at the Winter Band Concert for Grades 6-12 on Monday, Cook told the audience, “One of the hardest things in my career was on Monday after the Governor announced that it was going to close the schools. Coming to school that day, knowing it was the last day for a long time that I was going to see these guys, and trying to prepare them for the unknown.
“We had a lot of unknowns. It’s been quite an adventure, but I’m really proud and honored to be with these guys here tonight.
Spread across the middle school gymnasium floor were the separate sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade groups and the high school concert band, with each group playing tunes appropriate to their skill level.
The sixth grade band played arrangements of the traditional tunes “Lightly Row”, “Go Tell Aunt Rhody”, and “Good King Wenceslaus”. Sixth graders also showcased their freshman skills section by section, with low horns playing “This Old Man,” trumpets playing “Hot Cross Buns,” trombones playing “Merrily We Roll Along,” flutes on “ Jingle Bells”, the saxophones. on “Au Claire de la Lune”, clarinets on “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and the percussion section playing “Jolly Old St. Nicholas”.
1/5: The high school orchestra performs themes from “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” during the January 24, 2022 Winter Concert at the Century School. John Cook directs.
2/5: The seventh-grade band, led by music teacher John Cook, perform “Arena of the Gladiators” during the winter concert on Monday, January 24, 2022 at the Century School.
3/5: John Cook leads the sixth grade band in the American folk tune ‘Go Tell Aunt Rhody’ during the winter concert Monday, January 24, 2022 at the Century School.
4/5: The sixth grade clarinet section perform “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” during the band’s winter concert on Monday, January 24, 2022 at the Century School. Other sections of freshman musicians also showed their progress with stand-alone pieces.
5/5: The eighth-grade band perform “African Folk Trilogy” at the Century School’s Winter Concert Monday, led by director John Cook.
The seventh grade band performed “Arena of the Gladiators”, “Crazy Crocodile”, and “Magma”. The eighth graders followed up with “African Folk Trilogy”, “Themes from the New World Symphony” and “Imperium”.
The high school orchestra demonstrated the benefits of years of practice in a group of pieces that express a wider range of nuances: “Music for a Celebration”, “Reflections”, “Winchester Chronicles” and themes from “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.”
Towards the end of the concert, the students coalesced into one large combined band, closing the evening with the raucous “Skygazer Fanfare” and “Seven Nation Army”.