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The Christian Brothers Band of 2016 marks the larges the band has ever been in its history, of a total of 87 students. The pep band performed at all football games this fall including performing for a special presentation for military veterans of the Christian Brothers who had never received diplomas, and traveled to Cincinnati to perform with our brother school, LaSalle High School.
On September 17 the band traveled to Niles, Michigan to perform at St. Mary's Catholic School. On the way they stopped at the first Burger King in Matoon, Illinois. After their performance the band toured Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. On Sept. 18 the band traveled to Cincinnati and enjoyed the festivities of Cincinnati’s Oktoberfest, the second largest in the world. On September 19, the band performed at LaSalle High School for the exhibition football game. The band socialized with the LaSalle Band and performed with them at half time on the field. After the game the band attended a Kentucky Blue Grass Festival. Returning to Memphis, the band attended mass at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Louisville, Kentucky and stopped for lunch at the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville.
This fall the Historic Band performed for the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Athletic Building on the campus. They also played for the dedication of the Cook Memorial in the John Sandridge Memorial Garden honoring Christian Brothers Band Mothers. The historic band marched well in the Veterans Day Parade and performed for passersby in the Court Square gazebo. The band also performed for the Massing of the Colors at the Church of the Holy Communion and for the National Honors Society Induction.
On October 1st, the concert band performed a special concert with the University of Memphis Symphonic Band. The concert paid tribute to influential men on both campuses. The Christian Brothers Band performed The "Messick High School Fight Song" written by Lawrence Patrick Cooney, Christian Brothers Band Alumnus and former director of the Memphis State Band. They also performed the "Dunraven Overture" written by Ralph and Jack Hale. Ralph Hale served as band director at both schools. The University of Memphis Symphonic Band performed many works including the "March of the Peabody Ducks" by James Richens, Christian Brothers Band Alumnus and former director of the Memphis State Band. Guest conductors included Peabody Duck Master and University of Memphis Alumnus Anthony Petrina and Patrick Bolton, Christian Brothers Band Director and Alumnus of both schools. Armand Hall was conductor of the Memphis Symphonic Band.
On December 3rd the band performed with renowned French Horn Player Eric Ruske at the University of Memphis who rose to fame as the principal horn player in the Cleveland Orchestra, and has performed with numerous orchestras around the world including the Chicago Symphony, Sand Diego Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. After the master class, the band inducted Eric Ruske as an honorary member of the Christian Brothers Band Hall of Fame.
The Fall concert was held at St. Peter's Catholic Church on Adams to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the parish. At the concert the band premiered the work "612 Adams Concert March" written by James Richens to commemorate 50 years at our current campus, 5900 Walnut Grove. 612 Adams Ave. is the address of our first campus from 1871 - 1940. The band also premiered the arrangement of Christopher Philip Winkler's "Grand Military March" by Patrick Bolton to celebrate the church's anniversary. Christopher Winkler, known as the dean of Memphis Music, served as organist and choir director at St. Peter's Church and taught piano at Christian Brothers in the late 1800s. The band performed the "Prayer of St. Gregory" in memory of Frank Olita III, teacher at Christian Brothers, whose grandfather played trumpet in the Chrisitan Brothers Band. Andrew Devall performed the solo. Daniel Smith performed "Meditation from Thais" with Bill McKee as guest soloist. Nick Ireland, who recieved training from Eric Ruske, performed the Saint-Saens "Concertpiece for Horn." Other works included the "Back to the Future Fanfare." "Four Hornsmen" featuring the horn section, "A Carol Triptych," and "The Imperial March" (in which Mr. Bolton conducted with a light saber baton.
In the spring, Mr. Bolton was inducted into the Christian Brothers Hall of Fame, and 22 students placed into the All-West Band and 4 into the All-State Band. In preparation for concert festival the band traveled to Nashville for the Belmont University Invitational Band Festival in Nashville where they spent the night in the Opryland Hotel. While in Nashville the band toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Jazz Band recorded "Birdland" at RCA Studio B. The band scored superior ratings in Sight Reading at Concert Festival held at Colonial Middle School.
The Spring Concert was entitled Novel Themes and included music that was inspired by great literary novels. works included: "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" by Sparke, "March of the Two Left Feet" by Anderson, "Pillars of the Earth" by Erickson, "Call of the Wild" by Balmages, "Wind and the Willows" by de Meij, "The Quest" by Smith, and concluded with a senior performance of "Bless this House."