Gator bands usher in full scale spring concert

Published 2:38 pm Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Vicksburg school bands held their annual Spring Band Concert at Vicksburg Jr. High on Friday. The performances included the Gator Bands from Vicksburg High School, Vicksburg Jr. High, the Academy of Innovation, as well as Bowmar Avenue, Vicksburg Intermediate School, South Park, and Warrenton elementary schools.

This is the first full-scale Spring Concert the program has hosted since the pandemic began.

Lauren Kilroy is a junior in the Vicksburg High School Band, which performed at the event. She plays the saxophone and was a drum major during marching season last semester.

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“Due to COVID, we really haven’t had the opportunity to get out there and perform,” Kilroy said. “I was very excited about it. I haven’t played concert music in a while, and it felt good to be able to learn new music and get out there and perform it for people.”

Like many band programs across the country, the first half of the school year is dedicated to marching band. When football season ends, students and directors gear up for concert season.

The Head Band Director of the Vicksburg Band Program, Dr. Jonathan Nelson, was excited that students had the opportunity to perform for a large audience. He said that the event was particularly exciting for the students in the elementary school bands that have not yet had the chance to perform in a large concert setting.

While the music performed was only given to students in January, Nelson said the students are showing off the lessons they learned in the past semester on musicianship fundamentals.

“It’s kind of like a culmination of what they’ve done all year because they started from scratch. They went from nothing to what you heard (at the concert),” he said. “It’s kind of like showing the parents: ‘This is what your child has done this year in our band class.’”

The bands from each school played several pieces each, with interlude performances provided by the Vicksburg High School Jazz Band.

Kilroy added that she is a big proponent of the band program and what it offers students.

“The band is just overall a really great program. Even if you don’t have the opportunity to be in band, it’s great to support your band because (it) can take people anywhere,” she said.