Woodland High band to perform at University of Alabama
by Mark Andrews
Jan 28, 2014 | 1668 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Woodland High School symphonic wind band, weather permitting, will hold a preview concert tonight at 7 in the school’s Performing Arts Center. On Feb. 8, the band will perform at the 29th annual Alabama High School Honor Band Festival, held at the University of Alabama, during which they will perform for bands from other high schools in Georgia and Alabama.

“The wind symphony will perform the same program that we will play at The University of Alabama for our community here at our theater and it will give us a chance to have a dry run [of the performance], but it’s also for people who can’t or don’t have the ability to drive out to Tuscaloosa to hear us play here in Cartersville,” Band Director Eric Willoughby said. “... We selected the music knowing that we’re performing primarily for a teenage audience and their band directors so the music is not extremely lengthy, but it’s also very high energy.

“There are some jazzy styles and rhythms, etc., exhibited in the final production that we’re performing that makes the final piece very exciting and fun for the audience. For other, more serious literature [we chose] a very mature, almost college-level piece of music called ‘Khan’ by a young and up-and-coming composer in America who has also had music published and performed in Asia as well [named] Julie Giroux and that’s kind of our featured piece of music.”

He continued, “We’ll also be performing a standard John Philip Sousa’s march; that will be a fun piece for listening to. ... So we have quite a variety of pieces with some fun, exciting stuff for a teenage audience to hear.”

According to the UA band program’s website, www.bands.ua.edu, “The festival weekend includes clinics presented by the faculty of the University of Alabama School of Music and concerts presented by the Alabama Symphonic Band, the Alabama Wind Ensemble and the ‘SPECTRUM’ concert, which features several of our wind and percussion ensembles as well as the 400 member Million Dollar Band. This year, we will present four outstanding high school ensembles in concert, along with the five festival honor bands.”

In other WHS band news, Willoughby recently traveled to Chicago for the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic where he accepted the NBA Blue Ribbon Award on behalf of the band program.

“There were a total of eight band programs across the country that received this award. Consideration for this award was based on a 50-plus page application that included judges sheets/comments for all of four of our concert bands at WHS, programs showing music literature that our bands have played for the past three years, a biography of the band that included a summary of the number of students that we have make district and all-state bands each year, as well as the number of seniors we have to continue to participate in band after high school,” Willoughby explained in an email. “We also had to submit over 30 minutes of recorded music as performed by our bands in live stage performances.

“To say the least, this is the most significant national recognition our program has ever received.”