Kirn and ALHS concert bands give a note-worthy performance at the Parade of Bands event

Gleaming adolescent eyes filled with adoration were abundant in the Abraham Lincoln Fieldhouse for the annual Parade of Bands event on February 20, 2020. 

Approximately 240 musicians from sixth through twelfth grade performed at the concert. Each middle school and freshman ensemble performed two songs, and the ALHS Varsity band three scores. All five bands finished the night with a group performance of ”March Primo.”

As the night progresses and the performers age, the music gradually becomes more complex. ALHS band director, Taylor Matuszeski described the purpose of the event as displaying musical progress.

“The intention is that you can see the progression from sixth grade all the way through the tenth through the twelfth-grade band,” Matuszeski said. “You can see that the investment in time over the years is worth it.”

The band director at Kirn Middle School, Bill Nanson, explained how the concert influences the younger students as they witness the difference from ensemble to ensemble.

“I think they’re a bit in awe when they first hear them play,” Nanson said. “You’ll see improvement, and you’ll see the growth of the program from the first year all the way to the eleventh and twelfth grade years.”

A favorite from the night included “Avengers: Endgame” performed by the ALHS Varsity Band.

Eighth Grader, Sterling Angeroth reflected on the piece and its effect on the audience.

“A lot of people in the band really enjoyed ‘Endgame’ performed by the high school band,” Angeroth said. “It was definitely very exciting for everyone as that was a very popular piece of music.”

Sophomore clarinet player, Ella Hanson expressed her fondness of the song as well.

“I liked Avengers,” Hanson said “It was fun, and I’ve heard it before.”

Matuszeski explained his reasoning for choosing the popular movie theme as the final score for the varsity band.

“It’s a piece I knew a lot of my students would be able to connect with as well as the parents and the middle school band,” Matuszeski said. “I kind of used that as a finale and excitement factor or moment.”

The first-year band director has already seemed to have grown in popularity at the junior high school despite being a new member of the ALHS staff.

“Mr. Matuszeski comes down to Kirn. He has a lot of energy, they really like him,” Nanson said. “‘The band director with the spikey hair,’ they call him.”

Angeroth shares her excitement to work with Matuszeski as her high school band experience quickly approaches. 

“I personally am really excited to work with Mr. Matuszeski next year and be challenged musically on a high school level,” Angeroth said. “I think it is very exciting for the younger grades and my grade to see what might be in store for them in future years.”

As students age and mature, it is expected that their outlook and position in the event evolves as well.

Hanson described her changing position through the years in the Parade of Bands.

“Performing in high school is a lot more experience,” Hanson said. “The middle schoolers look up to you.”

Nanson added his perspective on the rewarding experience that performing along the high schoolers can entail.

“I’ll get comments by kids where they’re actually inspired by the high school,” Nanson said. “They wanna be that good. That’s why we do this.”

Although the night seemed to be an overall success, Hanson described the inevitable imperfection that comes with the event.

“March Primo was a little rough, but that’s always rough,” said Hanson.

Matuszeski elaborated on the acceptance of flaws in performance as perfect music is not attainable for anyone.

“We are human, so we make imperfect music,” Matuszeski said. “We strive for as much perfection as we can.”

“At the end of the preparation period, we just have to put on stage our best performance,” Matuzseski said. “We get one shot to do it.”