BV bands warm up for Christmas concert

Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Band director Donna Vickers leads the Berryville High School band Monday in rehearsal for their upcoming Christmas concert, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4.
Photo by Kelby Newcomb/Carroll County News

The Berryville middle and high school bands are getting into the spirit of the season as they rehearse for their upcoming Christmas concert.

Band director Donna Vickers said the concert will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4. The sixth grade band, the seventh and eighth grade combined band and the high school band all will be performing, she said.

While the sixth grade and high school bands will be playing festive tunes, she said the seventh and eighth grade band will be playing some different songs.

“High school started preparing for the concert last week,” Vickers said. “We had a Veterans Day performance before this, and marching band had ended right before that.”

She said the high school band is also preparing for the annual Berryville Christmas Parade, which will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

“There are a lot of changes happening right now with the band” Vickers said, “and we’re trying to implement a lot of the things that made the program great before.”

Junior Bailey Doss, who plays clarinet, said the high school band went straight from marching band season to preparing for the Veterans Day performance.

“As soon as that performance was over, we got handed our music for the Christmas concert,” she said, “and began working on it.”

Sophomore Bryce O’Dell, who plays trombone, said it can be a challenge preparing for the Christmas concert and the parade simultaneously.

“We’ve got a lot going on at the same time,” he said.

Senior Jessica Noriega, who plays clarinet, said she finds preparing for the Christmas parade to be more challenging because the band students have to memorize all of their music for the performance.

Just last month, she said the band was competing at a marching invitational in Siloam Springs, and now they are gearing up for their Christmas shows.

“Siloam Springs was our first and last competition of the season this year,” Noriega said. “It was an experience. Half of our band is freshmen, so that was their first time going to a competition. For us to make it to finals on their first night was incredible.”

“We had so much fun that night,” Doss said. “All of us decided to have fun for the final performance.”

“We weren’t really able to place or do anything like that,” said sophomore Mynette Raya, who plays clarinet. “We were trying to have fun for our last performance.”

The students said they are looking forward to performing some holiday tunes for the community at the Christmas concert in a few weeks.

“Personally, I’m really excited about ‘Sleigh Ride,’ ” Doss said, “but there are a few musically challenging pieces to it. It’s a tradition to play it, and it’s one of the more challenging pieces because I have to work on extending my range and flexibility as a clarinet player.”

Noriega said she is most excited to play “Green Sleeves.”

“I really like ‘Green Sleeves’ for the Christmas concert because it’s slower and more melodic,” she said, “and has a lot of pretty elements to it.”

O’Dell agreed, saying he likes the piece because he is familiar with it.

“I’d say ‘Green Sleeves’ as well,” he said, “because it’s ‘What Child Is This?’ and I know that one.”

Raya said her favorite piece to play is “Sleigh Ride.”

“I really like ‘Sleigh Ride’ because it’s like a tradition for us to play it every year,” she said.

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