musicdept 500HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (5/8/12)—Last week, our community was greeted by the moving sounds of Madisonville North Hopkins High School’s Music Department as they performed a full-fledged and free-of-charge Spring Concert at the Glema Mahr Center for the Arts. In response to the concert and the accomplishments of the music department itself, MNHHS band-booster Vice President and proud “band parent,” David Thompson, submitted the following article, as well as each of the photos (see main photo and slideshow attached at the bottom):

Tuesday evening, (May 1st, 2012, 7pm) the Madisonville North Hopkins High School Music Department presented a Spring Concert in the Glema Mahr Center for the Arts at the Madisonville Community College. The admission was free but the music did not reflect the admission price! Both the Symphonic and Concert Bands performed.

The evening’s performances started with select musicians performing a rendition of Spy Chase. The playful and energetic composition by Brant Karrick, was an immediate embrace of the James Bond genera music, conducted by Alan Emerson.

Following, was a group of selections conducted by Rob Bryant, these selections included Alelluia Laudamus Te!, By Alfred Reed, followed by a soul-moving arrangement of “Hymn to the Marines” dedicated by the arranger Stephen Melillo to our Marines fighting in Afghanistan. To introduce the number, Mr Bryant shared with the audience a moving correspondence between Mr. Melillo and a Marine serving in Afghanistan, and dedicated this composition to all of our dedicated Marines abroad that serve our country out of honor and love. It was more than apparent that the music made sure you felt this love and honor!

Next, Mr Bryant introduced a suite of selections, Scenes from The Louvre by Norman Del Joio, which included I. The Portals, II. The Children’s Gallery, III. The King of France, and ending the suite, IV. Finale. If the music was the brush and paint, and the ear a canvas, the imagery of this music was complete! The performance captured the first of numerous standing ovations during the concert!

Introducing the next number, Mr. Bryant directed much honor and praise to the talented group of young musicians for their recent accomplishments that included those at Carnegie Hall, and announced that the MNHHS Symphonic Band has been asked to record a special composition by Stephen Melillo. The composition, "7 Happy Years, To Heaven From Heaven" was written and dedicated to the memory of a child lost to Leukemia—the child of an ensemble musician featured on the same album, StormWorld-Chapter 21. Worthy of a story in and of itself, it was an honor to be asked to perform and be recorded on an album from a Grammy nominated composer, an album anticipated to receive critical acclaim! The recording will be on May 17th and the album is due to be released later this year!

The last performance conducted by Mr. Bryant was music commissioned for World Premiere by the MNHHS Symphonic Band during the Showcase Concert of the Wind Band Festival at Carnegie Hall, February 26, 2012. The Stephen Melillo composition, Pasodobles para Santa Cecilia y los Héroes de España was written and dedicated to the memory of Roberto Clemente, a baseball star through 2 decades in the 1960s and ‘70s and a self endeavored humanitarian throughout his homeland of Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries. The work embraces a strong Latin influence with an uplifting energy.

At the conclusion of the music conducted by Mr. Bryant, Rob took a moment to share his admiration and praised the hard work and dedication of the students. He also made it a point to thank the parents and the Band Boosters for the support of the programs. He encouraged the parents to embrace the desire and abilities of the students in their pursuit of the music and reminded all how important to the learning experience that music is (and has always been).

He summarized by stating, “If this is our future, it's very, very bright!"

Following a brief stage reset to accommodate the entire Concert Band, Randy Adams conducted Fanfare and Flourishes by James Curnow, a composition performed by the MNHHS Concert Band at Carnegie Hall. The dynamic nature of the piece underscores the power and presence of the ensemble(s).

Alan Emerson conducted the conclusion of the concert with the last 3 compositions. In the Shining of the Stars, by Robert Sheldon presented a gentle lead in to the dynamic presentation of Chorale and Shaker Dance, by John Zdechlik. The performance of this selection by the MNHHS Concert Band at the Wind Band Festival, held at Carnegie Hall last February, garnered the coveted GOLD award. This evening’s concert ended with the performance of Bonds of Unity, by Karl L. King.

A wonderful experience this evening! The success of the Madisonville North Hopkins High School Music program is apparent. And when one considers all of the music program’s accomplishments... Well, let’s just say, admittedly, as “band parent”, I may be possibly biased by the pride and admiration of a daughter that plays trumpet in the MNHHS Concert and Marching bands. The Marching Band, having won seven times, the KMEA State, 4-A, Marching Band Championships, The Concert/Symphonic Bands, a world premiere of Grammy nominated composer selections, and countless other accolades and recognitions…this program distinguishes our community!

I want to be sure to recognize the dedicated educators these men are, as without their “Love of the Music” and commitment to the education they provide the students, all of these accomplishments would be unlikely. The talent refined from our children by these instructors should serve as an inspiration to the teaching endeavor. To quote another parent, “Thank you to Mr. Bryant, Mr. Emerson and Mr. Adams for teaching our children wonderful music and all the lifelong lessons that go along with it!!”

I am honored to be a member of the Band Boosters, and ask the community to take any and every opportunity to invest in the futures of these talented young people, by supporting the music programs throughout the schools in our area. ALWAYS remember: dedication and commitment are habit-forming behaviors. Accomplishment nurtures success. Success nurtures self-esteem. Successful people with self-esteem make self-sufficient, community contributing citizens. Isn’t that the most important thing we would like our children to get from school? And wasn’t the music AWESOME!?!

David Thomson
Band Parent
MNHHS Band-Boosters, 1st Vice-President in charge of Operations (Elect) 

To view photos from the performance, please click the slideshow player attached below. To view them in a larger format via Flickr, please click here.

Posted by Luke Short
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