Beau Branyan (honorary)
CONTRA BASS CLARINET
Angel Betances Lee
Fredy Luna Sanchez
Ian Greer, Librarian; Matt Minatra, President; Ryan Diaz Vice-President; Matt Ireland, Secretary
150th Anniversary Mass
Diaz, Ireland, Greer, Martinez, (Minatra not pictured)
150th Anniversary Mass
Click above to listen to the music and download programs
The 2020-2021 Academic year for the Christian Brothers High School Band has been defined by adaptation. In the midst of a global pandemic, the band struggled to meet in one room while following social distancing guidelines and COVID-19 protocols. Despite the numerous hurdles and setbacks, this group managed to display true talent, perseverance, and grit in one of the most challenging years the world has ever witnessed.
At the start of the school year, the entire student body was following a hybrid schedule in order to maintain proper CDC guidelines on social distancing, meaning that the band could not all be present in the band room as a united group. Despite this setback, the band was able to prepare a full set of music in order to perform at four CBHS Football games. Additionally, the band’s senior National Honor Society inductees opened the National Honor Society by playing The Star Spangled Banner, as well as closing the ceremony with the Alma Mater.
Once the start of Quarter 2 began and all of the non-distance learning students had returned to a full-time schedule on-campus, The band began preparing for the Fall Concert, which featured three senior Soloist performances. The first solo of the concert featured Vice President Ryan Diaz playing Ferdinand David’s Concertino for Trombone. All-State Clarinetist,Governors’ School attendant, and Librarian Ian Greer delivered a stunning performance of Variations Sur Un Air Du Paus D'oc by Louis Cahuzac. Finally, Band President Matthew Minatra performed Claire Grundman’s Concertante for Saxophone. The band’s fall performance also featured selections such as March in F to celebrate Ludwig van Beethoven’s 200th Birthday, possibly the first ever recording and performance of an arrangement of The Mandalorian, and a piece called Voyage to Freedom to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock. Also, the band played a special rendition of Home on the Range to pay tribute to former CBHS Band Director Mike Krepper, who passed away in February of 2020.
The band also played a piece called a Song of Hope as a tribute for our absent brother Beau Branyan, who was being treated for cancer at St. Jude’s Research Hospital. Beau lost his life to cancer at the incredibly young age of 17. He is this year’s Band Hall of Fame Inductee, and his absence from the clarinet section is one that cannot be replaced. The CBHS Saxophone quartet and Band Librarian Ian Greer played at Beau’s memorial service at CBHS. Band Director Patrick Bolton and Ian Greer performed at Beau’s Funeral.
Another group of Band members that has demonstrated the meaning of dedication and determination is the CBHS Jazz Band Walnut Groove. The jazz band this year was led by Assistant Band Director Stephen Womack, who took the position from Mr. Bill McKee, who retired last school semester. The jazz band performed for St. Francis of Assisi, OLPH, Riverdale, and St. Ann. Band Secretary and electric bassist Matthew Ireland was featured in Walnut Groove’s Fall Concert on Miles Davis’ Tutu. Additionally, the Walnut Groove served as the basis for the Historic Band for this year and played for the 150th mass celebration at St. Peter’s Church in Downtown, recognizing the anniversary of the Brother’s arrival in Memphis. The jazz band also played at the Distinguished Alumni Ceremony and Hall of Fame Reception.
In the Spring semester, the band made several accomplishments while preparing for the final concert. All-West Auditions were done very differently from before due to the pandemic, and were done over video recordings that were judged individually. The band saw success as 23 students made All-West, with 5 members making All-State chairs and 2 members making All-State Alternate positions. The band also hosted one of the only Honor Bands in the spring semester with guest conductor Bryan Scott and Sophomore Tuba player Benjamin Shedd was accepted into Governors’ School. Some interesting events that occurred include the donation of numerous recordings from the CBHS Band from the Krepper family, which lead to the completion of the band’s recordings from 1948 to present day. The Krepper family also donated Mr. Krepper’s original tenor saxophone to the band. CBHS Band Hall of Fame member and composer James Richens donated all his compositions to the band library, and part of the Shriners Band Library was donated that included music of our third band director, William Wallace Saxby, Jr. (band director from 1892-1916).
Finally, This years’ spring concert theme was “Island Breezes and Sound Waves”. The band premiered a piece called At the Hands of Perseus, composed for the band by David Ryan. The Purple and Gold Band joined together to play Jump in the Line, a fun highlight of the concert. Other pieces included a challenging arrangement of Mendelson’s Fingel’s Cave, and Mannin Veen dedicated to Beau Branyan. At the end of the concert the seniors wrapped up their careers with the end by playing Bless This House one last time, closing a challenging and bittersweet year on a satisfying note.
Ryan Diaz, band Vice President
Ralph Hale Band Award
John Sandrige Award
Schneider Gold Medal
Mike Krepper Jazz Award
Harrison Marching Award
Saxby Orchestral Award
Br. Maurelian Spirit Award
Amro Music Honor Band
Alfredo Luna Sanchez
All State Band
All West Band
Alfredo Luna Sanchez