All-Bands Concert grooves and toots to tunes


Horizons Ensemble

Sydney Kurtz and Anoushka Parakh

Horizons Ensemble, Middle Division Concert Band, Jazz Combos, Chamber Winds, and Wind Ensemble sparkled as they came together for the first All-Bands Concert since the pandemic last Wednesday.

Music teacher Michael Bomwell led each ensemble through their performance. The concert was a logistical challenge. “I had just come back from being absent for a week because I had COVID, and then we had a snow day the day before the concert,” he said. “I was so proud of the students for how they came together and prepared at the last minute to get everything concert ready.”

The process of planning for the concert began months earlier when Bomwell chose the pieces for each of his groups, he said. As he selected music for each ensemble, Bomwell considered how to showcase the groups’ strengths. “If I have a really great woodwind section, I’ll try to find music that highlights the flutes and clarinets,” he said. 

Choosing the right pieces for each ensemble was a key factor in producing a successful concert, Bomwell said. “If I pick the wrong thing for the wrong group, it never works.” He also takes into consideration how the individual pieces fit together during the concert. “I like to do one piece that’s more lyrical and slow, one piece that’s kind of exciting and technical, and then one piece that’s something different.”

One of the high points of the concert for Bomwell was when the Wind Ensemble played “Volver a la Montaña,” a Peruvian folk song, which came together at the last minute, he said. “It was a great moment because at that point, everyone finally heard the piece the way it was supposed to be played.” 

“Volver a la Montaña” was also popular among the students as it incorporated different parts of their instruments and various techniques. Some of the flutes played solos that included harmonics, which is when they play multiple notes at once using tones within tones, Elise Kang (11) said.

Ensemble members’ quick takes:

“You always feel really nervous as you are about to get on stage, but once you’re up there playing music, it just feels like it’s you and the band and no one else out there.”

  • Chris Sperduto (9), Jazz Combo D

“It was inspiring to play with the UD students because you see what you will be doing later on and where you will be in the future.”

Emma Wang (6), Horizons Ensemble 

“I enjoyed playing ‘Volver a la Montaña’ because it’s a really energetic piece and it’s very fun to play. I was a little nervous and it was somewhat scary to be on stage, especially in front of the parents.”

  • Emanuella Odell (9), Wind Ensemble

“I really enjoyed listening to the jazz combo, and the middle school concert band had a really cool jazz piece as well. The music was upbeat and each of the instruments got to improvise.”

  • Anna Kim (9), Wind Ensemble

“I like the time right before the concert starts in the Black Box where you get to chill and mess around. That was fun because you have time to decompress.”

  • Andrew Ogundimu (12), Jazz Combo D
MD Concert Band
Chamber Winds
Jazz Combo
Jazz Combo