By Heidi Tanner
Special to The PREVIEW
The seventh annual Band-O-Rama concert will be held this year on April 21 at 7 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.
This concert is hosted by the Pagosa Springs Community Band, which will be playing during the evening, but you will also be treated to concert band music performed by Pagosa Springs Middle School’s sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade bands and Pagosa Springs High School’s Jazz and Concert bands.
The evening is capped off when all the bands combine on the stage for the grand finale and the stage is filled to the brim with players of all ages and instruments of all sizes filling the auditorium with a reverberating sound that is only heard once a year on this special night.
Band instruction in Pagosa schools begins in sixth grade in our middle school with Music Director Malinda Burnett’s class. Here, students interested in playing an instrument are encouraged to choose the instrument that appeals to them and then Burnett begins teaching each sixth-grade student the basics of how to play those individual instruments. As students move through their middle school years, they are refining and learning to play their instruments with more complicated pieces. By eighth grade, students have gained a level of competency that is very impressive compared to where they were in beginning sixth-grade band.
From the middle school, students move to the high school, where Music Director Dan Burch continues to refine the students’ musical skills, offering Jazz Band or Concert Band. Music students at the high school complete their school year by traveling to Denver to participate in the Music in the Parks Competition in May. The high school students and Burch hold multiple fundraisers throughout the year, such as Breakfast with Santa, so that this trip can be taken. The students leave on a Friday and compete that evening in Denver. On Saturday, they spend the day at Elitch Gardens having some end of year fun and Sunday they travel back home.
For the first time, this year’s Band-O-Rama concert will feature a student as our soloist. Carson Grose, senior at Pagosa Springs High School, has played with the Community Band in our percussion section since moving to Pagosa Springs in 2016. Grose is a talented pianist and percussionist who will be performing the xylophone solo on “Log Cabin Blues” by George Hamilton Green. Accompanying Grose will be the Pagosa Brass Quintet, which is a small brass ensemble formed of members of the Pagosa Springs Community Band. This will be a fun number that will be enjoyed by all.
Please join us on April 21 in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium for a great evening of concert band music. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted with gratitude and the evening’s proceeds will be split between the middle school music department, the high school music department and the Pagosa Springs Community Band. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m.