A melody of chords could be heard from the Si Commons last Thursday night as St. Louis U. High’s band played a multitude of jazz numbers at their concert. The concert featured many bands including fundamental band, lab band, combos, jazz band, and varsity jazz band.
The fundamental band has plenty of musical talent. However, the students in this troupe are still learning how to read sheet music properly to better enhance their skills as musicians.
“We like to call them the ‘fun band’ because it’s a lot cooler than saying fundamental,” said Jeff Pottinger, director of the band program.
Additionally, the lab band is composed of students who decide to take the band elective throughout the entire school year. Combos, though like the lab band, are a slight bit different with students also meeting up at Zero Hour and being mainly guided by the students themselves.
“(The combos) are student-led. So, each group chooses their own music and their own arrangements, and it's a really neat addition to our band here at SLUH,” said Pottinger.
The varsity band is directed by Pottinger, while the jazz band is directed by Dr. Joseph Koestner.
“(Dr. Koestner) made it an amazing performance. The varsity band also played very well,” said Pottinger.
Along with the influx of talent being shown in the department, comes the creativity of song choice. These tunes can vary from Christian Christmas music to 70’s songs being played on repeat which allows for plenty of innovative potential when performing melodies.
“Go Tell It On The Mountain was a really fun piece that they did. Another fun piece worth mentioning is Comfortably Numb, by Pink Floyd, which is kind of a neat song to do for those guys,” said Pottinger.
Some musical pieces are even written by students at SLUH adding to the innovation being added to the art department and the personality being shown in each song.
“Keller Anderson, a junior, wrote a piece called Lonely. It was a great hit. He’s a very good singer and piano player,” said Pottinger.
Overall, the concert was a phenomenal success and the bands’ hard work and dedication is shown to pay off.
“I was really proud of the boys, and they played very well. They’ve come so far in the last few years, because some of those guys even started online last year, and they've done a great job,” said Pottinger.
After all the seats were taken by the audience awaiting the concert, a reflection over the season of Advent was given out. Then, a great symphony erupted as all of the bands united to perform the beginning piece. Proceeding, each band played around two to three songs each to showcase their advanced abilities. To finish it all off, the band unified once more to execute another beautiful performance and have the crowd screaming for ‘Encore!’
To add to this astonishing experience, speeches throughout the night connected the music that they were playing to the season of Advent adding a new perspective to the performance.
“Intermittent throughout the night, there were reflections done by students on how God works with music which really added to the beauty within the concert,” says freshman Otto Reitenbach, member of the fundamentals band with his guitar.
However, the teachers, like Mr. Pottinger and Dr. Koestner, who were a part of making this band concert happen and adding to the musical talent of SLUH students really helped to make an impact on the boys.
“The teachers did a great job of preparing us,” says viola player Jens Istvan. “They encouraged us to keep working hard but also helped us learn slowly, increasing the tempo by a few beats per minute each practice.”
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