Chester Grade School students showed off the musical progress they've made this year at their spring concert Thursday, April 28, at Chester High School's Colbert Gymnasium.
The evening included performances from the fifth, sixth, and junior high bands under the direction of Sue Colonel, as well as the junior high chorus, led by Steve Colonel.
The concert put the full spectrum of CGS music education on display, starting with the fifth grade beginners and building to the finale and the announcement of the 2022 Band and Choral Awards.
Maddie Stauffer was named the Most Improved Eighth Grade Band Member. The Director's Award for outstanding band leadership was given to Addie Gottschammer. Three eighth graders -- David August, Erin Liefer, and Jason Sibley -- were named Outstanding Instrumentalists. Megan Zimmer was given the Outstanding Vocalist Award.
Students who participated in the 2022 IGSMA Solo and Ensemble Contest also were recognized. This year there were 53 performances by CGS students at the contest. Altogether, CGS musicians brought home (3) Superior ratings, (44) 1st Place ratings, (4) 2nd Place ratings, (1) 3rd Place rating and (1) 4th Place rating.
The Colonels also celebrated the history-making efforts of the junior high band and chorus at the 2022 IGSMA Organizational Contest. The band and chorus both earned "1st Superior" ratings from all three judges in their performances for the first time.
"In past years, either one or the other, band or chorus, earned all "1st Superior" ratings from all three judges, but 2022 was the first time in school history that both band and chorus earned "1st Superior" ratings at the same time in the same year," said Steve Colonel.
Before the night was over, Steve Colonel took the opportunity to encourage students and parents to continue their music education in high school.
"Many students think that they won't have time for music once in high school. I work with all of the coaches and other teachers here at CHS and we almost always work out arrangements for students to be able to maintain their sports and studies and still stay in band or chorus," Colonel said.
"Music is something you can use your entire lives. It is well worth the effort to continue music throughout high school and the rest of your adult lives."
To close out the concert, the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade band members combined to perform one huge number with all of the percussionists lined up in front for "Junk Funk" by K. Mixon. The "junk" portion of the song featured the percussion section using all sorts of items as percussion instruments. This closer was a huge hit and had everyone tapping their toes to the rhythms and music.
Fifth Grade Beginner Band
The Fifth Grade Band performed "Premiere March," by J. Compello; "Creatures in the Attic," by B. Balmages; and "Rockin' the Blues," by Feldstein and O'Reilly.
Sue Colonel praised the group for the vast amount of improvement they have made since starting in the fall.
"The beginners had to start their musical careers under terrible conditions wearing masks and being seated six feet apart in the fall, but they all adjusted well and made amazing progress in spite of the less-than-ideal conditions," she said.
Sixth Grade Band
The sixth graders performed "Above and Beyond," by J. Swearingen; "Abandoned Treasure Hunt," by R. Grice; and "Flight of the Dragonfly," by R.W. Smith. Sue Colonel praised the group for their performance and noted how well they had advanced since the beginning of the year.
Junior High Chorus
Steve Colonel introduced the 17 eighth grade chorus members singing in their final concert at the grade school: David August, Jacob Casteel, Amelia Crawford, Johanna Frazer, Addison Gottschammer, Liam Holland, Bianca Howard, Trinity Jones, Brayden Juenger, Luke Kennedy, Erin Liefer, Aiden Lyons, Chance Murphy, Jason Sibley, Olivia Vasquez, Elizabeth Wilson, and Megan Zimmer.
The Junior High Chorus performed five songs. accompanied by Vicky Beers: "Sing with Jubilation," by J. Estes; "Give Me Your Stars to Hold," by Teasdale and Gray; "This Little Light of Mine," by M. Hayes; "For Good," arr. M. Huff; and "A Tribute to Queen," arr. M. Brymer.
The chorus did a wonderful job and the crowd showed their approval with loud applause.
Junior High Band
Sue Colonel recognized the 8th grade band members: David August, Alicesyn Baker, Aaliyah Berkbuegler, Hayden Cartwright, Jacob Casteel, Gabriel Coffman, Amelia Crawford, Reed Creason, Santino Decker, Mackenzie Deimund, Johanna Frazer, Addison Gottschammer, Emily Gruenewald, Natalie Guetersloh, Anthony Hernandez-Huerta and Ivan Hobbs.
Also, Liam Holland, Bianca Howard, Trinity Jones, Brayden Juenger, Ryan Junger, Trevor Keeton, Erin Liefer, Aiden Lyons, Chance Murphy, Rylie Myers, Evan Richardet, Kaylee Rogers, Jason Sibley, Madison Stauffer, Mason Straight, Jakob Stueve, Brayden Tucker, Elizabeth Wilson, Adyn Winchester, and Megan Zimmer.
The Junior High Band performed three songs including, "The Navy Trident March," by R.W. Smith; "Lake of Sorrows," by R. Standridge; and "Legend of the Eagles," by D. Schaffer. The band performance was excellent and enjoyed by all.
You can see more of Chester's music education on display at the CHS Spring Concert at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 10.