It was a night of music at St. Patrick School this past Monday. Each of the school’s three bands played several pieces to a full house during an hour-long Christmas concert.
Up first were the 5th grade students. They started the night off with a selection of standards such as Hot Cross Buns and Merrily We Roll Along as well as the carols Jolly Old St. Nicholas and Good King Wenceslas.
The concert marked the first public performance for 5th graders who received their instruments at the start of the school year. In addition to their group songs, each of the 17 band members also prepared a short solo that was performed at the concert.
After the beginning band, the intermediate students in 6th grade took the stage. Their three selections included the lively Wingate March and African Noel. In between, the band played Kings, Kings, Kings which featured an arrangement of We Three Kings and Good King Wenceslas.
“This is always a great evening,” said Matt Palmieri, band director at St. Patrick School. “It shows all the work the kids do to go from not being able to play an instrument to being able to play beautiful music.”
That beautiful music was evident when the students in 7th and 8th grade began their portion of the concert. The advanced band started with Brandy Station March. It’s a piece they previously played for David Walkowiak, Bishop for the Diocese of Grand Rapids, when he visited the school last month. After the performance, Bishop Walkowiak reportedly told the students it was the best middle school band performance he had heard.
The 29 students in the advanced band then played Ancient Carol and Christmas Angels. At the conclusion of performance, the 5th and 6th grade students returned to the stage and the combined St. Patrick School bands closed out the evening with a rendition of Jingle Bells.
Band has been a part of the daily curriculum at St. Patrick School for five years, something Palmieri says has allowed students to excel musically. “I feel very fortunate to be a part of the band program at this school,” he said.
(Feature photo courtesy of Colleen DeNardo)