With new director, Concert Band competes at local festivals
May 10, 2019
The concert band has recently been attending many festivals in the Omaha area. The attendance to some of these events are due, in part, to the new band director Evan Lee who was given the job this year after former director Peter Wilger retired.
The concert band, which is divided into Symphonic Winds and Wind Ensemble, performed for the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association and adjudications. The Wind Ensemble alone performed at the District Music Contest, along with several soloists.
“The Wind Ensemble this year did very well,” Lee said. “They were one point away from a perfect score at District Music Contest.”
That festival, and several others, were graded on the basis of tone, intonation, precision, facility, balance, expression and an “other” category. A perfect score would be a one in each category, sometimes called “one plus” or a “one with distinction.”
“I think, as a band, we’ve definitely improved over the last couple months, heading to the end of the year,” junior Lieu Hidalgo said. “Some could attribute it to our new band director, but I think, as a band as a whole, we’ve grown a lot and come together more.”
Hidalgo plays the tenor saxophone and bassoon in Symphonic Winds. It’s his second year in the Central band.
“There’s no other program in Central I’d rather be in,” he said. “With the band performing more around Omaha and in the state in general, I think we’re going to do a lot better marching and a lot better musically.”
As the band director, Lee’s biggest goals are to keep improving and keep building the ranks of students who want to play and grow as a community.
“My big picture goal with our band is that we develop a culture and community of excellence and pride in what we do,” he said. “I want to see us have a family atmosphere … where we know that, at any given moment, if we have a kid, one of our own, that is having troubles at home, having some kind of a classroom issues or just needs a pick-me-up, that we’ve got people in our group that care about each other.”
Next year, the fall marching show will be “Beyond the Small Door,” featuring music from the animated move “Coraline.” Lee also hopes to begin the process to get new marching uniforms by the 2020-2021 school year.
“It’s been a good first year and I’m looking forward to many more,” he said.
The concert band’s final recital was the spring concert on April 30. They will also be performing at graduation.