This year the Christian Brothers High School Band has had an extraordinary year. It started with flying colors and continued throughout the school year despite the corona virus pandemic. This year the band has done many note worthy things that few other would have attempted to do given our current situation, but we have prevailed none the less.
It started with the Historic Band which had many great performances. The first performance was the annual Veterans day parade with a concert at court square. Next, they played the Massing of the Colors ceremony which is an event to honor our local military personnel and all those who gave their lives. Next, they played at a special event at the Arcade restaurant for its 100th birthday. That wasn’t the only anniversary they played for. They also played for the 180th anniversary of the first Catholic mass in the state of Tennessee in front of the Magevney House. Finally, they recorded for the Chicago Midwest clinic audition which they hope to be performing in 2022 for the band’s 150th anniversary.
The Pep Band had a fun semester following the football team to Chattanooga. On the trip the band performed a pregame show at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, toured a guitar museum, and visited the Tennessee Aquarium. In the spring the band performed at several basketball games, including the Christian Brothers University Homecoming Game.
Another note worth group of the Christian Brothers Band program is the jazz band: Walnut Groove. This year they had many outings and did a lot of recruitment. It started with the St. Anne Bartlett spaghetti dinner where they played music for a fundraising event. They went to many different middle schools to recruit future students and they played the Taste of CBHS which is the biggest and only fundraiser for the CBHS fine arts department. However, it is sad to say that this will be the Jazz band director’s final year. We wish Bill McKee a great “second retirement” and thank him for his 15 years of devotion to the jazz band program.
A department of the Jazz band is the Saxophone Quartet and they had a few outings as well. They performed at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. They also played before and in the intermission of a Christmas Pageant. This is one of the great ways we try to give to the community.
Finally, is the Concert Band which had an amazing year. For their fall concert, they played Americans We by Henry Fillmore (band hall of fame member). They had a feature performance for the Band Vice President, James Madden, called Summer of ’69 which he played drum set. They also featured Jeremy Wallace the band President on the Tenor saxophone on the piece Czardas. Homage to Normandy was performed in honor of the 75th anniversary of the landing at Normandy and Footsteps on the Moon celebrated the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing. The percussion section played Piece for Ghana in honor of Ghana, the Memphis is May country this year. They ended the concert with the piece difficult overture to Das Pensionat by Franz von Suppe to celebrate his 200th birthday year.
This year the band also had a huge accomplishment by scoring a perfect score at Concert Festival. They played the Trident March by John Phillip Sousa followed by the overture to La Belle Helene by Offenbach. The band also managed to make many recordings in the fourth quarter despite the Corona Virus quarantine. Through the virtual classroom they performed one of the first minimalism works called In C by Terry Riley. They also premiered two works at their Virtual Concert and Band Banquet to be played over video conferencing software including 377 (in time of plague) by Robert G. Patterson and Rhapsody in Lag by Patrick Bolton. During the fourth quarter the band also managed to meet with members of the “Presidents Own” United States Marine Corp Band in master classes to end out the year. Finally, the band was featured on the Year for Memphis Music website performing W.C. Handy’s Beale Street Blues commemorating the 200th anniversary of the City of Memphis.
This year we dedicate the band’s successes to the 9th band director of the Christian Brothers Band, Mike Krepper, who lost his fight with cancer in February. May he rest in peace.
Click above to listen to the music and download programs
Ralph Hale Band Award
John Sandridge Award
Prof. Schneider Arion Gold Medal
W.W. Saxby Orchestral Award
Mike Krepper Jazz Award
Capt. Harrison Marching Award
Br. Maurelian Spirit Award
Amro Music Award
All State Band
All West Band