Mason band plays holiday hits


Tenor saxophonist, Kit Richards busts out a solo during “Tenor Madness” (photo courtesy: Carol Sly)

Claudia Gusman

Mrs. West encourages the guest conductor. (photo courtesy: Carol Sly)

Gowns were zipped up, tuxes were buttoned, instruments were tuned, and a nervous yet excited buzz spread through the band room as Mason’s very own prepared to deliver a successful Winter Band Concert.

The schedule of the concert on December 6 was the usual, showcasing the hard work of the Percussion Ensemble, the Jazz Ensemble, the Symphonic Band, and closing the night with the Wind Ensemble. Despite this, there are many ways that made this year’s concert stand out, such as featuring a guest conductor – a very tiny guest conductor.

During the transition into the Wind Ensemble’s performance of “Sleigh Ride,” the audience and the band were surprised when Mrs. West wasn’t on the conductor’s podium. Instead, the baton was passed to Sutton Snyder, the little brother of Wind Ensemble flutist, Elisabeth Snyder.

While everyone found the switch to be funny and cute, others were wondering if the band was capable of staying together without the conducting of Mrs. West. By the end of the song, the band had performed beautifully, succeeding in listening to one another and staying together.

Another addition to the concert this year were the performances by the Flute Quartets. The first quartet performance featured Gillian Murphy, Kathryn Siemer, and Maia Vollen. They performed “My Dreydl” by Goldfarb/Lombardo.

The new faces of the percussion ensemble. (from left to right) Jakub Leski, Henrik Baum, Max Vagoun, Adrian Kamel, and Jackson Barnes
(photo courtesy: Carol Sly)
Miles Jackson and Megan Ferguson sing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” (photo courtesy: Carol Sly)
Tenor saxophonist, Kit Richards busts out a solo during “Tenor Madness” (photo courtesy: Carol Sly)
Gillian Murphy, Maia Vollen, and Kathryn Siemer play “My Dredyl” (photo courtesy: Carol Sly)
GMHS Band Director, Mrs. West smiles at the audience)
(Photo Courtesy: Carol Sly)

Later in the concert, a second quartet, featuring Megan Ferguson, Sophia Margarella, Cara McFall, and Elisabeth Snyder, performed “What Child Is This?” arranged by James Christensen. Both performances added a nice touch to the concert, and provided the audience entertainment during transitions between different bands.

The Jazz Ensemble put on an amazing show this year, featuring solos from Christian Autor (trumpet), Peter Hansel (tenor saxophone), Kit Richards (tenor saxophone), and Jacob Nelson (drumset). With the stunning vocals of Miles Jackson and Megan Ferguson, the Jazz Ensemble brought the famous holiday tune, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” to life. Soloists also included Kris Krueger (trombone), Acacia Wyckoff (piano), Julianna Markus (alto saxophone), and Ben Fong (bass).

With the returning familiar faces in the band, came many new faces. Although there are new band members every year, this year was a turning point for the percussionists of Mason. All members of the percussion ensemble seen in the concert were all new members (subtracting the help of a few wind ensemble members), due to the fact that all members of last year’s percussion ensemble had been moved to the Wind Ensemble. It is a new era for them, with many new experiences ahead.

Not only were there new faces on stage, but in the audience as well. Some of the football team came out to the concert to show their appreciation for the band delivering the sounds of pep during football season. This was the first year this was done, and many band members believe that this should continue, and the turnout should approve in the coming years.

Being a band member myself, I believe that all of Mason’s bands performed at their best that night, and proved that we have the capability to represent George Mason High School in Chicago this coming spring, in a national competition.