On Wednesday, Dec. 6 and Thursday, Dec. 7, Polo Park Middle School hosted its annual series of winter concerts.
The beginning band and advanced jazz band performed on Wednesday evening, followed by the intermediate and advanced bands on Thursday evening. More than 300 parents, family members, teachers and administrators attended the concerts.
The beginning band performed selections that included: Beethoven’s Ninth, Popcorn Prelude and Time Traveler.
“This is the first year these students have played these instruments,” band teacher Kevin Graham explained. “I hope you’re as pleased as I am with the progress they’ve made.”
After the beginning band, Polo Park’s eighth-grade jazz band performed jazz selections from Joe Zawinul, George Gershwin and Herbie Hancock. Each jazz selection included an improvisational performance by one or more student soloists.
“Improvisation is instantaneous composition,” Graham said. “I’m especially impressed with how quickly they’ve taken to it. Jazz band is a club; there’s no school credit for it. The only incentive is the music.”
The concert series concluded on Thursday with performances by the intermediate and advanced bands. These performances included selections from Carol of the Bells, The Tempest, Pictures at an Exhibition, and John Williams: Movie Adventures.
Based on the audience response, both evening performances were a success. When the performance concluded, Principal Ann Clark thanked everyone for attending.
“It never ceases to amaze me how much they accomplish under Mr. Graham’s direction,” she said. “We are incredibly fortunate to have Mr. Graham teaching your children.”