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HHS bands present 2017 winter concert

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Last Thursday, the Red Hawk band presented its 2017 winter concert, a seasonal treat for concert goers each year.

A small audience gathered in the well-lit HHS auditorium to enjoy the performances of their students and escape the evening’s winter chill.

The event opened with a handful of songs performed by the HHS jazz band members. Director David Kerwood, who played rhythm guitar for the group, opened the set  with  “It’s Never Over ‘Til The Fat Lady Swings” and closed out the group’s performances with what he described as the band’s favorite piece to play together, “Dynamite Drums.” Soloists during the jazz set included Nathan Wright( baritone sax), Alexis Watka (clarinet), Noah Stanley (trumpet), Erica Merz (tenor sax) and Myles Sago (keyboard).

“Jazz band did a great job, and I'm particularly impressed by the improvement to the students' improvisation skills,” said Kerwood of the evening’s performance.

Following the jazz band, the Red Hawk concert band took to the stage decked out in their festive holiday garb and performed four holiday-inspired pieces: a medley of holiday favorites titled “Noel,” the ever-popular “Carol of the Bells” (one of Kerwood’s personal favorites), “Pat-A-Pan” by Mannheim Steamroller, and “American Christmas Festival,” another holiday medley composed by Frank Ericson.

“The concert went well,” explains KErwood. “The turnaround from Marching Band October 31 to the Concert Band concert on December 7 is the most difficult rehearsal schedule of the entire year, and the students did not disappoint. [They] played very well on some challenging music and had a great performance!”

Following the night’s performance, Kerwood and his students are looking forward to a brief respite with the holiday break.

Now we can take a breath or two before launching into a very busy pep band season and working on improving ourselves in preparation for State Large Group and Solo/Ensemble competitions in April and the Spring Concert in May.”