VINTON–The William Byrd High School Band held their annual Winter Holiday Concert on December 17 and followed it up the next morning with a whirlwind musical tour of the Vinton area elementary schools.
For the evening concert, Band Director Dan Plybon opened the program with a video for the audience called “Music and the Brain” which conveyed the importance of music for youth and their cognitive development. He said that when children play music it causes an effect like “fireworks going off in the brain—it sets the brain alight, engaging every area of the brain at once.”
The evening concert featured the jazz, concert, and symphonic bands in concert attire performing in the auditorium at William Byrd High School.
First up was the jazz band featuring “Swing Machine,” the traditional “Autumn Leaves,” and the seasonal “Winter Wonderland.”
The WBHS Jazz Band is made up of Chris Merchant and Peyton Wilmer on alto sax; Keira Naff on tenor sax; Kasi Abell, Brandon Brogan, Hunter Steuart, Caleb Tate, Brent Smith, and Jenna Wickham on trumpet; Jordon Baker, Chase Caldwell, and Joseph Johnson playing trombone; and rhythm section members Chandler Bates, Trevor Bowman, Paul Bushnell, Michael Tingler, and Garrett Walsh.
The concert band then performed three numbers: “New Forest March,” “Fanfare for the Third Planet,” and “Wonderful Christmas Time.”
Concert band members include Sunyanna Anderson, Josephine Brandimore, Diana Damian, K.J. Elmore, Elizabeth Hall, and Alexus Reynolds playing flute; Reese Bostic, Armando Damian, Erica Garst, Sky Meador, Ashley Peters, and Carmen White on clarinet; Bailee Norcross playing bass clarinet; Trenton Haddox, James Shrader, and Maggie Steuart on alto sax; Everett Fletchall on tenor sax; Brandon Brogan, Caleb Rogers Jones, Caleb Schaubach, Kaylee Tuck and Rashad Vaughn on trumpet; Jenna Wickham playing French Horn; Chandler Bates, Sam Carner, Shea Sterling, Aalysa Stuckey, and Megan Wu on trombone; Hunter Steuart on baritone; Brandon Martin on tuba; and Nathaniel Ferris, Elijah Oltmanns, Samuel Ramos, Jacob Speck, and Allyssa Summy playing percussion.
The final session of the concert was a performance of “Ignition,” “March from Second Suite in F,” and “American Christmas,” by the WBHS Symphonic Band. Members of the symphonic band are Holly Garrett, Callie Hogan, Madison Jones, Abby Neidigh, Seth Schaubach, Niole Tihlarik, Isabelle Webb, and Melissa Wu playing flute; Keira Naff playing oboe; Courtney Cherry, Chloe Doss, Erica Garst, Joshua Hylton, Aliyah Stuckey, Amanda Tilley, and Kayleigh Wyatt on clarinet; Brenna Donahue, Savannah Gheen, Lindsey Mercer, and Richard Qiu playing alto sax; Joshua Tate on tenor sax; and Hailey Blair and Chase Holt on bari sax.
Other members of the symphonic band are the trumpet section: Kasi Abell, Brandon Brogan, Jasmine Crawford, Rebecca Geisler, Daniel Naff, Hunter Steuart, and Caleb Tate. Jenna Wickham and Logan Williams play French horn; Paul Campbell plays baritone. Tromphone players include Jordan Baker, Chandler Bates, Chase Caldwell, Sarah Frary, and J.J. Recktenwald. Bradley Harless plays tuba. The percussion section is made up of Trevor Bowman, Paul Bushnell, Cameron Kornegay, Jenna Miilu, Caleb Oltmanns, Sameul Ramos, Amelia Tilley, and Michael Tingler.
Plybon announced that several band members auditioned for and made All-District Band: Melissa Wu, Keira Naff, Joshua Hylton, Kayleigh Wyatt, Hunter Steuart, Caleb Tate, Jordon Baker, Sarah Frary, and Trevor Bowman.
He congratulated Wu for making First Chair in All-District and added that Wu, Hylton, and Bowman are now eligible for All-State.
On December 18, the band was scheduled to visit Mount Pleasant, W. E. Cundiff, Herman L. Horn, and Bonsack Elementary Schools to entertain the students in informal concerts on the last day of school before winter break.
At Cundiff the band played spirit songs which they usually perform during football games, for the student body gathered in the school gymnasium. The band Color Guard was also part of the tour.
Plybon made the concert into a learning activity as well, asking the WEC students to call out names of instruments they were familiar with. A WBHS band member then stepped up to play some notes on the instrument named and on any the elementary students weren’t familiar with. The program concluded with Santa Claus dancing led by the WEC students at the end of the concert.