Big band brouhaha today |

Big band brouhaha today

Steamboat Springs High School hosts regional performance

Mike Lawrence

— It’s time for local school bands to make some noise.

Steamboat Springs High School is the host of today’s Colorado High School Act–ivities Association Large-Group Band Festival, a series of performances by 16 bands and six choruses from 15 Western Colorado high schools and middle schools. Among the performers will be bands from Steamboat, Hayden, Craig, Soroco, East Grand, Meeker, Eagle Valley, Aspen, Middle Park and Kremmling.

“It’s a very, very big event,” said Ken Crombie, band director at Steamboat Springs high school and middle school. “The kids are really excited.”

Each band will be allowed to warm up for 30 minutes before the competition, which includes a rehearsed performance in front of three judges and a “sight reading” — a performance of a piece the band sees for the first time two minutes before playing it. They aren’t allowed to use their instruments to practice the piece.

“You kind of talk through it for two minutes and then the judge says ‘Go,'” Crombie said.

Steamboat’s high school band performs at 9 a.m. Crombie said they will play three pieces: “An American Hymn” featuring fifes and drums; “Lux Aurumque,” an instrumental transcription of a vocal piece that Crombie called “an absolutely gorgeous piece of music”; and “Toccata for Band,” a standard concert selection.

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The middle school will perform “Exultation” and “River of Gold” at 2:30 p.m.

The high school chorus will perform at 3:20 p.m. at the middle school. All performances are open to the public.

The event is the first of several large events for local school bands. On Friday, the high school jazz band leaves for Greeley to participate in the three-day Greeley Jazz Festival sponsored by the University of Northern Colorado. Crombie said the “huge” event features about 300 jazz bands.

The high school spring concert is at 7 p.m. May 4 in the high school auditorium. Crombie said the high school band and jazz band will perform at the free event.

About 100 Steamboat students participate in middle school and high school bands.

— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203

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