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Monday concert to feature more than 200 WMS band students


Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON ­—Monday at 7 p.m. marks the final chance for fans of the Worthington Middle School (WMS) bands to hear the more than 200 fifth- through eighth-grade instrumentalists in concert this season.

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“This is our last formal concert of the year,” confirmed Mike Andersen, director of the 160 sixth- through eighth-grade band members.

“It’s our third annual ‘Music in our Schools’ concert and will take place at Memorial Auditorium, which has great acoustics and provides a true concert setting for both the performers and the audience,” he continued.

Added Jeanette Jenson, director of the 60 fifth-grade band students, “For some students, this will be their third performance at Memorial Auditorium with the bands — for others, it will be their first time. But it’s always a treat to perform here.”

Jenson’s fifth-graders will play “Cowboy Cattle Drive,” “Sakura” (a Japanese folk song praising spring and cherry blossoms in an arrangement by Andersen), “Shepherd’s Hey” and “Popcorn Prelude.”

Meanwhile, the eighth-graders are focusing on tunes by renowned composer John Williams, including “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” and “Theme from The Lost World,” as well as “Falcon Fanfare” by Brian Balmages.

“John Williams writes really fine music, and great movie numbers,” Andersen said.

Andersen’s sixth-graders climb on the Williams bandwagon with “The Olympic Spirit,” and will also be heard playing “Atlantis” by Anne McGinty and “Ancient Voices” by Michael Sweeney.

Concert selections for the WMS seventh-graders include the Chorale from “Jupiter” and “Mars” (both from Gustav Holst’s acclaimed composition “The Planets”), as well as “Siberian Sleigh Ride” by Sergei Prokofiev.

“A lot of people associate it [‘Siberian Sleigh Ride’] with Christmas, but it isn’t necessarily a Christmas piece and to be clear: it’s not Leroy Anderson’s ‘Sleigh Ride,’” stressed Andersen, who also vowed the choice isn’t intended to welcome back snow to this winter-weary region.

Justin Spaethe will emcee the Monday evening concert.

In the final weeks of the academic year, Andersen will begin working with his students on marching band pieces while Jenson will continue guiding her first-year players on instrument concepts, techniques and beginning repertoire.

All fifth- through eighth-grade band students are encouraged to participate in the summer band camp Jenson and Andersen will run from June 3-13, which will culminate for the incoming sixth- through eighth-graders with a trip to Valleyfair on June 13.

“We have seen much growth in our bands over the past few months,” affirmed Jenson, “and we’re excited for our kids to have this performance experience at Memorial Auditorium.

“We’re thankful to District 518 and the parents of all these students for their support of the arts.”

The Worthington Middle School bands will perform at 7 p.m. Monday at Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center, 714 13th public; a fee will be charged at the door, and District 518 activity passes will be honored.

St., Worthington. The concert is open to the public.