On Wednesday night, April 23, parents and siblings of Chattahoochee band students, as well as supportive friends and a few musical alumni, packed into the auditorium for the band organization’s last concert of the year. The concert lasted two and a half hours, with a total of 19 songs played, everything from the classical “1812 Overture” to a purposefully-chaotic, “Stomp”-esque song entitled “Sharpened Stick” to a rendition of “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” from the popular Disney movie “Frozen” to an original composition by senior Zak Truett.
The concert showed off all factions of the band organization, including three concert bands, a percussion ensemble, a clarinet choir, a flute choir, a saxophone quartet, and a brass quintet dubbed “Zak Truett’s Ensemble of Oddity,” which performed Truett’s composition, a medley of the 1960’s Batman theme song and “Seven Nation Army.”
When asked how he composed the piece, Truett said he “took two great songs and put them together.”
Matt King (SO) was the trombone player in the quintet, and surprised the audience by parading through the auditorium in a Batman mask while playing the Batman theme song solo.
“That was fun, a lot of fun,” he said. “We decided to do that two days before.”
During their last performance of the year, many band members took the opportunity to look back on the past year.
“It’s been a great year. I feel like I’ve improved a lot,” said Ido Shani (FR), a French horn player in Symphonic Band.
“It’s been an interesting year. It’s nice to be back on my original instrument [after experimenting with French horn],” said Morgan Duvic (JR), a trumpet player in Wind Ensemble.
“I just started playing tuba in October. I feel like I have girl power because I’m the only girl tuba and I’m going to Wind Ensemble next year, so it’s a good change,” said Haley Brooks (FR).
While many students reflected on the past year, the concert took time to recognize its senior members who will graduate this year. All the seniors wore a yellow rose boutonniere during the concert, and were brought up on stage for a farewell speech from director Nicholas Garofalo.
When asked how he felt about his last band performance, senior French horn player Seth Edwards said he felt “elated, yet sorrowful.”
Senior clarinet player Rachel Smith said she could not put into words how she felt about her last concert.
Senior tenor saxophone player Kevin Carbone said he felt overwhelmed and sad. “It’s finally all over, and I’m kind of glad it’s all over, because it’s been a crazy four years.”
“It’ll be sad missing all the seniors, all the fun of them. It’ll be different in class without them next year,” said trombone player Charles Pepper (SO).
Not all seniors were saddened by their last concert, however. Percussionist Isiah Burgess still had time to crack a joke, saying that “when I performed, I felt like I was playing for the ladies.” Senior Nikolai Washington agreed with Burgess.
“Being in this situation brings back old memories and lays down the foundation for new ones, but in the grand scheme of things, I know it’s for the ladies.”
Senior Josh Shapiro summarized the night perfectly with his opinion regarding the concert. “There was interesting music being played by interesting people.”
The concert closed with a “Lion King” medley, with Garofalo joining the group on the drum set. And while the final note was eventually cut off, the memories of band at Chattahoochee will continue to ring in the hearts of every member.
Said Mr. Garofalo, “It has been a wonderful opportunity to instruct and lead this group of young adults. I am fortunate to have such commited students that really want to excel. This isn’t true at a lot of schools for wind band students, but here at Chattahoochee these guys care. I will miss this part of my family next year. Best wishes, and thank you.”
(cover photo courtesy Nate Harris)