Mira Costa’s Band Department hosted its annual Winter Concert on Dec. 8 in the auditorium, with six different groups performing holiday songs.
The groups that performed were the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Chamber Winds, Wind Symphony and Jazz I, respectively. To close out the concert, all of the groups joined together to play the combined piece “Toboggan Ride” by Stan Applebaum.
“Everyone put in a lot of work, especially because we were pressed for time,” Band President and senior Emily Angstreich said. “It was great to see all of the bands together to celebrate the holiday season through music.”
Each musical group took turns playing a variety of songs on stage, including “Ukranian Bell Carol,” “Snow Caps” and “Dance of the Jesters.” Featured soloists included seniors Angstreich, Varun Murphy and Matt Nelson, and junior Hannah Min.
During the concert, the Wind Symphony and Jazz I joined together to perform “The Nutcracker Suite,” something never done at previous concerts. In addition, a new, smaller musical group, Chamber Winds, performed for the audience for the first time.
“The way that the Wind Symphony and Jazz Band played back and forth for each movement of ‘The Nutcracker’ was really cool because the wind symphony would play the original piece and then the jazz band would play the same movement but in a new and cool way which made it more enjoyable,” senior Seia Watanabe said.
According to Angstreich, the Band Department started learning their pieces in October. However, by the day of the concert, the bands as a whole were not as prepared as they could have been, she said.
“In the future, it would be better to have our pieces more in advance,” Angstreich said. “Unfortunately, this is difficult because in order to choose pieces, Mr. Carlson needs to conduct part-assignment tests so that he can identify pieces that match with our skill level.”
The band’s next concert will take place on March 1, where all Manhattan Beach Unified School District bands will perform at the the All-District Band Concert. The Mira Costa Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony will also travel to Sonoma, California from March 7-9 to perform at the Sonoma Invitational Wind Band & Orchestra Festival.
“I think it was a good first step forward, but we still have lots of preparation to do for our festival in March,” Angstreich said. “Most of the bands have their pieces picked out and we’re super excited to start working on them.”