This year the Historic Band performed for several functions around the city, but started with recording a few selections on a Cylinder Gramophone or wax cylinder, the oldest form of mass-produced recording devices. The group also was asked to perform for the 100th anniversary of Juvenile Court located on the property next to where the Christian Brothers Band was founded on Adams. The band performed for a large crowd and Mayor A.C. Warton was in attendance. Other performances this year include a performance for the National Honor Society, the Massing of the Colors, and marching in the Veteran's Day Parade after which performing for a crowd at Court Square.
The Christian Brothers Band this year was very excited about the new band addition that was in its final stages of completion this year. The pep band was in great shape for the football games and was featured nationally on the ESPN Program "Us vs. Yall."
The group prepared well for the Fall Concert and played some impressive works including "5900 Walnut Grove" to dedicate the new band room. Construction on the new band addition began in the summer of 2010. It added 1,860 square feet to the existing band room in the Br. Adrian Powers wing of CBHS. The addition added new storage space including an instrument locker room, a uniform locker room, and a room to house soundproof practice rooms, along with new closets. The addition allowed for more space in the band hall, and created sufficient storage for percussion, band instruments, and band boosters storage. Three large practice rooms would be available to students with soundproof doors, and the main band room door has been widened, ceiling tiles have been replaced, and the band hall was painted. David Cook cut the ceremonial ribbon after the Fall Concert of 2010 and the band played the "Star Spangled Banner" and sung "Bless This House."
After playing at a few Basketball Games in the spring, Students participated in All West Band, UT Martin Honor Band, and the University of Memphis Honor band. The School was also honored by a visit from the Notre Dame Orchestra. The Band performed the Sandridge Memorial Concert on March 3rd with guest solosit, Walter Hoehn (class of '93), performing "Introduction and Samba." Nick Holland listened to the band and gave remarks to get the group ready for concert Festival the following week. On March 10, the band performed "The Thunderer" by Sousa and "Festivo" by Nelhybel and received Superior Ratings.
The School was also graced by the presents of the Superior General of the Christian Brothers, Brother Alvaro, and the Band performed at the Founders Mass with Br. Alvaro and Bishop Steib in attendance. After All State Band Festival in Nashville, the band embarked on their "Gateway of the West" tour of several Catholic Schools in the Mid West.
The trip was from April 12th through the 17th and the band performed in Tulsa, OK; Pittsburg, KS; Kansas City, MO; Jefferson City, MO; and Saint Louis, MO. The concert was named “Forces of Nature” and included music that reflected that subject including “Undertow,” “The Thunderer,” “Electricity,” “Glaciers,” and “Vesuvius.”
The trip began on Tuesday with the group traveling to Tulsa where they performed a fundraising concert at the brand new Cascia Hall Performing Art Center. The concert was for students, faculty, and parents of Cascia Hall Preparatory School and Bishop Kelly High School, a LaSallian high school in Tulsa. The concert raised $2000 for Catholic charities. That evening the band took a tour of Tulsa with a visit to the Golden Driller Statue, the third largest statue in America.
On Wednesday the band traveled to Kansas to perform for the St. Mary’s Colgan Schools with students ranging from the elementary grades to high school. St. Mary’s Colgan is located in Pittsburg, Kansas and is a Catholic School that has no tuition for its students. Their church, Our Lady of Lourdes, houses an organ that came from Carnegie Hall, and Junior Andrew Rourke was able to play on the beautiful instrument before the band departed for Kansas City. In Kansas City the band had to try Kansas City Barbeque, and their suspicions were correct…It’s nowhere close as delicious as the Memphis style. After dinner the band attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City’s Brass Ensemble Concert.
On Thursday students toured the American Jazz Museum and learned about the history of the city’s music, including a display on Charlie Parker. After that the band performed for Archbishop O’Hara High School, a LaSallian school in Kansas City. That afternoon the band took a Gangster Tour of the city that showed the boys many of the old clubs where Count Basie performed as well as some of the criminal history of the city including bullet holes in Union Station. After the tour the band had a great Italian meal at Garozzo’s Restaurant.
The band departed Kansas City on Friday morning and performed in Jefferson City at Helias High School, a Christian Brothers school. Didier Aur is their principal who used to teach at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, including teaching Mr. Bolton World Geography. At this concert the Band performed alongside the Helias High School Band for a wonderful LaSallian musical exchange. After the performance at Helias, the band traveled to St. Louis where they toured the Arch. Students went to the top of the Arch and explored the museum, and after a short tour of downtown St. Louis, the band went on a Riverboat Dinner Cruise with a Dixieland Band and a girl choir from Oklahoma. The guys danced the night away.
The next morning, the band performed at a National Heritage Band Festival at Ladue Horton Watkins High School where they performed “Festivo” by Nelhybel and “The Thunderer” by Sousa. The band received instructional critiques from the Judges and won first place in their division. They also received the “Most Outstanding Band” Award for the entire festival. After the competition, the band went to Six Flags and had a blast.
On Palm Sunday the band went to mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis and toured the beautiful church. Senior Matt McCaskey was able to take a picture with Archbishop Robert Carlson. After mass the band toured the City Museum of St. Louis, which all the boys really enjoyed, especially the 10-story slide. Bill McKee even gave it a try, and although he may have been a little dizzy, he survived. After the City Museum, the band headed back home, but not before stopping at Lambert’s Restaurant in Sikeston for some throwed rolls.
Upon their return, the band performed their Spring Concert to a standing ovation. At the Band Banquet held at the Embassy Suites, Mr. Bolton and Br. Joel gave out the awards for the year and honored Walter Hoehn as the 2011 Band Hall of Fame Inductee. Graduation wrapped up the week and the band performed for the seniors and their parents on May 14 at First Assembly of God.
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