By Mark Ambrogi
The Celebration of Bands will have a unique aspect of a band put together solely for five-song performance.
The Middle School Honors Band is made up of about 60 top members from Carmel’s three middle schools and Hamilton Southeastern’s four middle schools. Wendy Higdon, director of bands for Carmel’s Creekside Middle School and Middle School Honors Band committee chairman, said it’s close to be evenly divided among the seven schools.
The Indianapolis New Horizons Band, made up of older band members, and the Middle School Honor Band will share the one-hour spot starting at 5 p.m. outside The Center for the Performing Arts.
“It’s the idea that music is something you can have for a lifetime,” Higdon said of pairing the two bands.
The group, which will perform five pieces, did not have its first rehearsal together until Sept. 10. They will have had four practices of about two hours each before Celebration of Bands. The group will work with guest conductor Michael Oare, director of bands at Great Bridge Middle School in Chesapeake, Va.
“The students have had their music since late July,” Higdon said. “They’ve been able to work on their own and I think most of the directors have spent some time working with them at their individual schools before we all get together.”
Higdon said it is a good range of pieces.
“In a festival setting where we only have a few hours to work together, it has to be attainable,” Higdon said. “It’s music that will challenge them in the short amount of time they have to rehearse it.”
The band was selected through the middle schools’ individual directors’ recommendations.
“It was based on the kids we had in our program and the instruments needed,” Higdon said.
Higdon said it is a special opportunity for the middle school performers.
“It’s an opportunity to work with kids from other schools and develop some connections with other students who enjoy music as much as they do,” Higdon said. “They get to work with a guest conductor so that’s a unique opportunity.
“We hope this is a great experience and one that starts a new tradition. We’ve been wanting to do something for awhile with our friends and colleagues from Hamilton Southeastern Schools. This is a good way to get it started.”