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 Weather Doesn't Stop Band Concert from Drawing Nearly 300

February 27, 2008 - Inclement weather tried but did not succeed in quashing Knightstown High School’s popular “Dinner and a Show” band concert last Thursday in the KHS auditorium. Originally slated for February 12, bad weather that night forced the event’s postponement. But, when snow and freezing rain pelted the area Thursday afternoon, Band Director Chris Holland went ahead and hosted the concert anyway.

Nearly 300 people attended the event, which featured a dinner that served as a fundraiser for the band program. The KHS Band Boosters decorated tables and served roast beef and turkey, along with vegetables and dessert.

Aside from performances by the Knightstown Intermediate School Band, the KHS Concert Band and the newly formed KHS Jazz Band, the show also featured two prominent guests, pianist Chris Wilson, a 1996 KHS graduate, and guest conductor Ray Willsey, who is also the KHS principal.

Wilson, son of Jim and Beverly Wilson of Knightstown, performed with the KHS Concert Band on an abbreviated version of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”. A lecturer in mathematics at Butler University, Wilson also played another Gershwin piece, “Three Piano Preludes: No. 1”.

Willsey, who served as a band director for 20 years before coming to KHS in an administrative role, conducted the intermediate school band on “Hello Dolly” and led the KHS Concert Band in a medley of Glenn Miller tunes.

According to Band Director Chris Holland, each “Dinner and a Show” event features a guest conductor and he or she is allowed to select music which sets the tone for the entire concert. Willsey, a Big Band enthusiast selected Glenn Miller as his artist of choice. “You can’t go wrong with Glenn Miller,” Willsey said. “I really enjoy the big band music – the Glenn Miller, the Tommy Dorsey …”

Holland said he was very happy with Willsey’s conducting Thursday night. “He did a great job with both bands,” said Holland.

The intermediate school band kicked things off with four numbers, including “Jazz Chaconne,” “Bandtango” and “Green Mountain Rhapsody”.

The KHS Jazz Band, after a 10-year hiatus, then took the stage and played two jazz standards, “Leap Frog” and “Bluesette”, as well as jazzed-up versions of pop songs “California Dreamin’” and “Johnny B. Goode.”

The KHS Concert Band performed with Wilson on the Gershwin tune, and played three others, including “A Tribute to Glenn Miller,” during which Willsey served as guest conductor, “Stardust” and “Anything Goes.”

“I was very happy with the show overall,” Holland said. “It was well-played. It was a fun show. The kids liked the music, and the audience was into it.”

Holland said the inclement weather always makes concert scheduling tough. “A lot of parents went to a lot of trouble to get their kids there – and to attend themselves,” he said. “We think there were around 300 people there and that’s kind of a high-water mark. This was an important concert for us. But you just couldn’t have a bad concert with Chris Wilson and Mr. Willsey there. They just did a great job. I also want to thank Terry Dukeman for volunteering his time.”

The Knightstown High School Jazz Band includes lead alto saxopone player Crystal Heim, alto saxphone players Annie Braunschweig and Ariane Guffey; trumpeters Brad Hammer, Jared Kayajan and Kyle Thomas; clarinetist Jessica Huffman; trombonists Daniel Stoten; bassist, Chris Cook; pianist Chris Holland and trap set player Nick Hammer.

Knightstown High School Band members include flautists Annie Braunschweig (section leader), Jessica Craig, Michelle Harsh, Kendall Littleton, Brittany Smith and Kathleen Weiland; alto saxophonists Crystal Heim (section leader) and Zachary Mullen; clarinetists Jessica Huffman (section leader), Jackqualine Niece and Tiffany Spence; trumpeters Brad Hammer, Philip Jackson, Arron Jordan, Jared Kayajan, Jay Lines, Jordan Mullen, Justin Taylor and Kyle Thomas (section leader); trombonists Matt Bledsoe (section leader), Shane Sirosky and Michael Hurst; baritone players Josh Bledsoe and Gabby Frizzi (section leader); tuba players Chris Cook and Chris McGraw (section leader); electric bassist C.J. Hines; tenor saxophonist Haley Roche (section leader); violinist Alex Smith (section leader); French horn players Michael Hall and Cammi Peters (section leaders); and percussionists Cory Back, Luke Brishaber, Charlie Cox, Jake Cullison (section leader), Nick Hammer, Cody Hibbert, Luke Meeks and Derek Sharp.

The Knightstown Intermediate School Band includes flautists Kali Farris, Sarah Terheide (section leader), Rachal Wentz; trumpeters Jordan Davis, Anthony Plymate, Lucas Steinwachs, Zachary VanScoy and Alex Werden (section leader); alto saxophonists Ariane Guffey (section leader), Dillon Hilderbrand and Allison St. John; tenor saxophonist Courtney White (section leader); trombonists Zachary St. John (section leader) and Daniel Stoten; tuba players John Jordan and Dakotae Kieninger (section leader); and percussionists Jareth Hunter (section leader), Aaron Jackson and Forest Nichols.


► See also: KHS Band Presents 'Jazzamatazz'

► See also video of event: KHS Band Presents 'Jazzamatazz'



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