With a Whistle and a Toot this Concert Was a Hoot.

Highland Band and Orchestra Concert is an Emotional Finale.

Kyle Adams, Senior Editor

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Tonight, Highland’s band and orchestra teamed up for their final performance of the year. The Senior Night concert featured music from the symphony and string orchestras then the Highland Concert Band, followed by a performance from the mixed group who formed the Seattle tour group back in April.

Emotions were high as this was the last time that the seniors from both groups would play at Highland.

“Orchestra has been where I have met so many of my closest friends,” senior violinist and instrumental music sterling scholar Emma Lund said. “I have had so many wonderful experiences and memories. It’s always been the place that you can find me.”

After the whole orchestra played, the advanced symphony orchestra played a song that they will be bringing to the state competition this Friday.

Next, Highland’s concert band took the stage playing “The light eternal,” a song that they had taken to the regional band competition and for which they had received a prestigious superior minus rating.

“I was really pleased with our first piece,” percussionist and band president Brandt Graham said. “That was the one that really got us the good ratings at festival. The other two were just really fun to play. They weren’t the best musically, but I think we all had fun.”

Fort their second song, the band seniors, Christian Fisher, Brandt Graham, and Ben Wenzel, were allowed to pick a final piece of their high school career. They decided on a piece called “Toccata for band” by Frank Erickson which truly showed their love for and dedication to the music.

Before the band’s final performance as a group, band director Curtis Black announced that next year, for the first time in many years, the Highland band would split into two: an advanced symphonic band and a concert band.

“The groups are getting larger,” Black said. “We are going to have even more students involved. I’ve already started picking repertoire.”

Finally, the Seattle tour group formed by a combination of symphony, string, and concert band (dubbed the tourcestra) took the stage for the last last few songs at Highland this school year. Between songs, Black gave out awards to members who had received recognition at the state solo ensemble festival including Millie Nelson, Sarah Astill, Olivia Carson, Sadie Swain, and the Highland Sextet.

Emma Lund received the final award for 2017: Highland musician of the year.

“I did not see it coming,” Lund said. “There are so many other people who are definitely qualified.”

As the final notes the stage became silent, it was all over. The band and orchestras had worked hard to get to this point in the year.

“I feel like all the groups did really amazing,” Black said. “They all put forth a really great effort.”

As a parting gift for their director, the band and orchestra students presented Black with a bass drum head inscribed with the signatures of each of member.

Many of the seniors were emotional about this performance which marked the end of their high school careers.

“I’m probably going to get a little emotional when I go home,” Lund said. “I’m going to miss it so much, I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do.”

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