WHEAT – The Wheatland High School band’s annual Christmas concert had a different environment this year as the WHS auditorium undergoes an extreme transformation.
The band settled in and performed in the gymnasium, which is not standard fare for fans of the band who have been accustomed to fine tuned acoustics and mellow auditorium seating, and the rattling up and down. bottom of the bleachers while the band was playing has been kept to a minimum. .
The band, who are used to performing in this environment as a dynamic band, filled every inch of this gymnasium with rich eclectic sounds and although it was different the band made a memory while still making the whole crowd happy. room that came to enter the holiday spirit.
One of the hallmarks of the night was the band performing the song “Let it Go” from the movie “Frozen,” and as Bradley often does with his peak performances, he brought all the groups together from sixth through twelfth. grade to do this performance and called it his “monster band”.
Anyone in music or in education knows that having all the notes and all the levels on the same wavelength is a monumental miracle. Bradley once again went above and beyond and made the band sound like they’ve been playing together for years without hiding the younger ones. They all played. Together. Gathered by the thin imaginary white stick in the hand of a visionary.
“It was a blast,” Bradley said. “Honestly, I thought this was one of the best shows we’ve had since my time here. The students were very prepared and worked hard.
According to Bradley, the day of the concert was a bit stressful as the group settled in in the morning for rehearsal with the college musicians, then moved all gym equipment to make room for basketball practice. -ball this afternoon. Then at 6 p.m., the student entertainment team showed up to help prepare for the concert.
“Hearing the Monster Band was worth it,” Bradley said. “As far as doing it in the middle of all the other things, I’m just doing it to make time for the things that are important. I had the National Guard exercise the weekend before the concert, my wife and I auditioned for our musical the afternoon of the concert and the day before, and had to buy two drums in college and one at home in high school and back in 24 hours. I guess I’m just used to the hustle and bustle and I’m happy to have a family that is there to help and support.
Another popular track was “Jingle Bells” with whips and screams and xylophones and bells thrown into the mix which elicited both laughs and ahhhs from the crowd. Along with the percussion section, he instantly became an audience favorite, as the thunderous applause at the conclusion shows.
“I choose the songs based on the students I have,” he said. “Which will push them to the next level while providing them with a fun experience. I’ve seen too many band directors (myself included in my early years) selecting music that is above the band’s level and although it does push their ability to play and understand music, it’s stressful and not fun for the students or the director. “
Another creative piece showcasing the full spectrum of the WHS percussion world was “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. Perhaps, however, it was the overall appearance of the group that put the icing on the cake as there were a handful of children wearing Santa hats, full elf costumes and Bradley him. – even who managed to turn a lousy sweater contest into a full party costume with reindeer and snowflakes.
One thing about Bradley is his ability to make things fun for kids as they learn a global language. There are no German blacks or entire African silences. Everyone sees the same language on their desk. He taught the Bulldogs to speak fluently.
“The students always work hard, but we have a lot of fun,” Bradley said. “It’s called ‘PLAY’-ing an instrument, after all. Part of my consideration of songs comes from what I like too. If I don’t like the music I ask the students to play, I won’t enjoy teaching it and they will feel it from me. As for the acoustically hostile environment (love that phrase), that’s what it is. I certainly don’t like the lights, fan, or loud bleachers, but from what I’ve seen digital renderings of the architect of the new auditorium, it will be worth it in the end.
The WHS Group signed a vivid Christmas card to wish all of Wheatland a very Merry Christmas.