P-CEP Bands go to State Festival for the First Time in Eight Years

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On Friday April 27, the P-CEP Wind Ensemble attended the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association state festival for the first time since the 2009-2010 school year. The Wind Ensemble is the top concert band in the school’s program and is made up of about 60 students, consisting mostly of seniors and juniors. As the top band, it is full of very serious and talented musicians.

The band played three selections for their performance which included “Bock Fanfares” by Jess Turner, “An American Elegy” by Frank Ticheli and “Mercury” by Jan Van der Roost. The pieces were complex and played at a high level even though the band hadn’t been preparing them for that long.

This year, the entire P-CEP bands program is reaching new levels of excellence and trying to attend as many performance opportunities as possible.

In addition to attending various prestigious events, the program is also lifting up its best performers by dristributing music to push their abilities. Some of these pieces featured solo performers such as Lauren Hull, Plymouth senior, Connor Blaufuss, Canton senior, Jeremy Cleary, Canton sophomore and Joe Atkins, Salem sophomore.

“I think the most exciting thing is that next year, 54 percent of this specific band will be back so we can continue to grow at this rate. It’s been wonderful to watch them grow this year and I can’t wait to see their approach for next year,” said Jon Thomann, Band Director. “The great thing about this program is that there are so many talented musicians who really care about the music they’re making and the history behind it.”

The success of the Wind Ensemble this year has been impressive since the beginning of the school year leading up to the winter concert in December. This year the band had the same amount of music in one concert cycle that they had in two concert cycles last year.

Beyond their first concert, they attended MSBOA district band and orchestra festival, at Redford Thurston high school, where they received top ranks for their performance. Immediately after they had finished district festival Thomann and Mike Wells, assistant band director, made the decision to attend state festival for the first time in eight years. The band started to prepare three never-before-seen pieces for the new performance and learned all three at high levels in roughly a month and a half.

The growth of the ensemble in this year alone has surprised not only the directors but also guest artists that work with the band as well as families of the students.

Students returning to Wind Ensemble next year are very excited to see what challenges their directors will bring to the table.

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