Lucas Bakken, JP student writer

North Polk hosted their annual Parade of Bands Concert on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Unlike the concert’s previous years, it was hosted within the auditorium. This was due to the expanding music department and size of the bands after each year. 

As per usual, the 5th grade band went first with their lineup of “Heroes and Glory” by James Swearingen and “Life is a Highway” by Paul Murtha. Next was the 6th grade band with their lineup of “Pirates of Barbary Coast” by Timothy Loest and “The New World Symphony” arranged by John O’ Reily. The 7th grade band had the song lineup of “Vikings Victorious” by Chris Sharp, “Morpheus” by Robert W. Smith, and “More Cowbell” by Mark Williams. The 5th grade band was conducted by Mr. Dave Gault. The 6th and 7th  grade bands were conducted by Mrs. Hanna Hoversten.

The 8th grade band was conducted by Mr. Collin Bell with their line up of “Joy!” by Frank Ticheli, “Down by the Salley Gardens” by Patrick Roszell with inspiration from Irish poet William Butler Yeats, and “Slippery Slides” by Ted Blumenthal. 

Bell stated, “I have the pleasure of conducting the 8th grade band, and we performed 3 pieces. We played ‘Joy, Down’ by the Salley Gardens, and ‘Slippery Slides’.  The 8th grade trombones are all awesome kids and awesome players, so I wanted to give them something fun as well as introduce concepts of a march for the rest of the band. We will continue to learn about marches on our next concert cycle, as we play ‘The Liberty Bell’ by John Philip Sousa.

The North Polk Symphonic band was conducted by their teacher and instructor Mr. Brandon Weeks, along with student teacher, Mr. Zach Olsen. Olsen has been teaching since winter or 2021-2022. As a student teacher, this was one of the first experiences with conducting. 

Weeks has said “Mr. Olesen has shown a ton of growth this semester. Each time he gets up to the podium, it is an improvement over the last time he taught. He is doing exactly what you want to do when you are student teaching: getting better each day.”

 They started with North Polk’s Percussion class performing “Detour” by Brian Blume. Next was the line up “Moscow, 1941” by Brian Balmages and conducted by Olsen, “April” by Aaron Perrine, “Embraceable You” by George Gershwin, arr. Warren Barker, featuring Keegan Dorr (North Polk Student Alumni) soloing on alto sax, and ending with Prelude, Siciliano, Rondo by Malcolm Arnold, arr. John Paynter, and conducted by guest conductor from ISU, Dr. Michael Golemo. 

The night ended with the ISU Wind Ensemble playing an amazing show. They started their segment with “From Glory to Glory” by Kevin Walczyk. Their next song was “Raise The Roof” by Michael Daugherty with a timpani soloist Harris Rogerson. Their third song was “Melodious Thunk” by David Biedenbender conducted by North Polk’s very own Weeks. 

They ended their great show with “Of Our New Day Begun” by Omar Thomas. This song, in particular, was made in honor of the men and women who lost their lives on June 17, 2015, in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. “My thoughts on ISU were extremely positive, I thought it was an incredibly fantastic and entertaining performance.”said Aaron Anderson, sophomore, baritone sax.

 Overall, the Parade of Bands was a success. Although the prior performances were in the gym, the move to the auditorium was the most logical decision. With the addition of ISU’s wind ensemble, I am excited for what’s in store next year. Suffice to say, we’ll all be waiting.