PHOENIX – John C. Birdlebough High School symphonic band and wind ensemble members showcased their musical talents for a packed auditorium during their recent spring concert.
Staple high school pieces and challenging arrangements were wonderfully performed by the symphonic band, while wind ensemble members beautifully executed arrangements based on popular movies.
Student Emily Roberts served as guest conductor of the symphonic band for “Psalm 42,” a powerful faith-based musical adventure with a strong euphonium solo performed by Christian Johnson.
Audience members also applauded and cheered for soloists Julie Yates, Bryon Halstead, Joshua Margrey and Brian Breen for their percussion skills during the challenging song, “Duelin’ Xylos.”
The wind ensemble’s take on music from “The Lion King,” “Into the Woods,” “The Incredibles,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and Guardians of the Galaxy” was well received, as several guests were humming along to the familiar tunes.
David Frateschi, director of both the symphonic band and wind ensemble, commended students for their dedication and commitment to the emotion, technicality and demands of music.
Superintendent Judy Belfield, JCB Principal Gregory Molloy and several Phoenix Alumni Band and Phoenix Band and Colorguard Boosters, Inc. members joined Frateschi in honoring the 21 band members of the senior class and other accomplished high school performers.
Several students were recognized for their participation in the New York State School Music Association Solo Fest, junior high area all-state, senior high all-state band and orchestra, outstanding jazz musicians, conference all-state band, all-county band, all-county orchestra, New Hartford Jazz all-stars, instrumentalist merit, instrumentalist musicianship and the New York State Band Directors Association honor band.
Wall plaques were presented to the following students: Mattingly Gleason (Patrick Gilmore plaque), Jacob Simpson (Woody Herman plaque), Jacob Nicolini (Louie Armstrong plaque), Derick White (Leonard Bernstein plaque), Joshua Dievendorf (Quincy Jones plaque) and Jacob Nicolini (John Phillip Sousa plaque). Catherine Barnhart received the Parade Band Award and Jacob Nicolini received the Phoenix Community Band Award.
NYSBDA Most Improved awards were given to Joshua Dievendorf, Christian Johnson and Nina Lewis, while Jacob Simpson received the NYSBDA Outstanding Musician Award and Mattingly Gleason received the NYSBDA Outstanding Musician Award.
Dievendorf was also awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award, while Abigail Venskus received the Music department KEY and Amanda Briggs received the Instrumental department KEY.
JCB students in ninth through 11th grade received the following awards:
Rookie Award, Olivia Ripley; Flexibility Award, Garrett Frink; Musicianship Award, Emily Roberts; Outstanding Talent, Sean Sievers; and Outstanding dedication, Zoe Heckert. JCB awards for seniors included: Outstanding Dedication, Karly McCann; Outstanding Talent, Marisa Dona; Outstanding Talent, Jolene Zaia; Musicianship Award, Carolynn Woodside; and Outstanding Dedication, Caitlynn Cromp.
Phoenix Alumni Band Scholarships were awarded to Jacob Nicolini, Abigail Venskus, Christopher Nicolella, Joshua Dievendorf and Derick White. The Michelle Huntley-Rudy Scholarship was awarded to Ashley Johnson and the Mark Storrings Service Scholarship was presented to Joshua Dievendorf.
The Phoenix Band and Colorguard Boosters presented the following scholarships: Eileen Kinney Colorguard Award to Caitlyn Hahn, Phoenix Band and Colorguard Booster Club Scholarships to Marrisa Ellis and Derick White.
Ashley Johnson received the Phoenix Firebird Colorguard/Winterguard Scholarship and Marisa Dona received the Michelle Paczos Memorial Scholarship.
The Michael Hyla Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Derick White, who also received the Smokey Kizer Scholarship.
Joshua Dievendorf received the new Selfless Service Scholarship, which was presented in honor of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5540 to an awardee to demonstrated qualities found in military service members and veterans.
Principal Molloy and Superintendent Belfield also presented senior chords to senior Tri-M Music Honor Society members.