Concerts highlight progress

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Steamboat Springs High School senior band members

Austin Anderson

Stephen Bell

*Kenyon Brenner

Dan Gayer

*Jesse Helm

*AJ Johnson

*Renee Spady

*Tim Sullivan

*Leigh Thielen

*Melissa Walsh

*Lee Wren

*denotes students who plan to continue their education in the arts at a post-secondary school

— The annual Spring Concert is supposed to represent one year of musical progress, and it doesn't take more than a glance at the program for tonight's Steamboat Springs Middle School band concert and Wednesday's Steamboat Springs High School band concert to be impressed.

Both concerts are at 7 p.m. in the high school theater. Both performances are free and open to the public.

Band teacher Ken Crombie hopes community members will attend one or both performances to see how exceptional Steamboat's young musicians are. On Monday, he was particularly pleased to talk about the graduating seniors and the high honors the high school concert band received this year.

The concert band is one of three bands to be featured Wednesday. The other two are the jazz band and a seniors-only band that will play with Crombie.

"This is an unbelievably strong band," Crombie said about the high school concert band. "They are strong musicians."

The high school concert band will play a medley of James Bond movie themes in honor of the Class of 2007.

"You know, 007," Crombie said.

The band also will play a ballad popular at the University of Northern Colorado.

The program includes one piece - a circus march - from the band's competition season. The band received superior marks throughout the year, including at its recent competition at Elitch Gardens in Denver.

"Oh, man, we got such praises from the judge," Crombie said. "We played well."

The jazz band is playing three pieces, including a Duke Ellington authentic piece and a ballad featuring saxophonist Kenyon Brenner and trumpet player Lee Wren.

The senior band hasn't rehearsed much, but Crombie, who is resigning at the end of the school year, isn't concerned.

"This will be fun," he said.

The middle school concert tonight features three bands - one for each grade level.

Crombie said it is atypical to have three middle school bands, but large numbers at seventh grade warranted an expansion.

The sixth-grade band will play a variety of music ranging from a Nigerian folk song to a rock piece.

The seventh-grade band, which is the first middle school band Crombie has taken to a large-group contest, is playing music from the movies "Mission Impossible" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" as well as a dark, swing piece and a majestic fanfare.

"They are a full band and a good, strong group," Crombie said.

The eighth-grade band doesn't have as many players, so Crombie has turned the group into more of a jazz ensemble.

"They are doing some cool stuff," he said.

The eighth-graders will play a Latin piece and "Hey Jude" by The Beatles.

- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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