Bob Jones Wind Ensemble masters college-level music

Doyle Thornton (CONTRIBUTED)
Doyle Thornton (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – This semester, the Bob Jones High School Wind Ensemble soared to top honors, despite a shuffle in its membership and the challenge for underclassmen to master complicated charts.

The wind ensemble participated in the Alabama Music Performance Assessment at Decatur High School and Southern Star Music Festival in Atlanta. At both competitions, their program included “Commando March” by Barber, “Mars” by Holst and “Overture to Candide” by Bernstein.

“‘Overture to Candide’ was the most challenging piece on the program due to its technical demands on the entire ensemble,” director Doyle Thornton said. “The piece has a lot of independent lines, fast tempos and meter (or time) changes that challenged the woodwinds, brass and percussion.”

Regardless of the technical level, the Bob Jones Wind Ensemble received straight superior ratings at the contests in Decatur and Atlanta.

Leigh Thomas (CONTRIBUTED)
Leigh Thomas (CONTRIBUTED)

“Students seemed to feel accomplished after each performance,” assistant director Leigh Thomas said. “The wind ensemble played college-level literature and received straight superiors. Overall, the students have grown and seem to feel proud of their accomplishments.”

“The ratings speak for themselves,” Thomas said. “The biggest question mark for each of these ensembles this year was adjusting to new staff and having freshman in the mix again.”

In addition, the wind ensemble had several freshmen and sophomores playing advanced music yet was able to achieve superiors “due to the high level of upperclassmen leadership and the skill of these young players.”

In other performances, the Bob Jones Wind Ensemble presented concerts at Redstone Arsenal in tribute to children in military families and at the Spring Arts Festival back in Zompa Auditorium. The concert band and wind ensemble will combine their talents to play at graduation on May 20.

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