Band-O-Rama at Staples Family Concert Hall educates, inspires young students

The Chippewa Marching Band baritone line plays during the School of Music's annual "Band o Rama" concert. This year the concert featured pieces played by the marching band and various concert bands in the school. November 9, 2012 in Staples Family Concert Hall.

The Chippewa Marching Band rocked the walls of the Staples Family Concert Hall Friday night.

More than 300 marching chips advanced on the open aisles as the sounds grew louder and spectators watched in anticipation.

The marching band sang the Central Michigan University Alma Mater and played the Michael Kamen piece "Band of Brothers," arranged by Mark Fifer, as part of the 2012 Band-O-Rama entitled "Prisms." Additionally, they also performed the CMU fight song, among other songs.

"Band of Brothers is one of my favorites," said marching band clarinet player Justin Orminski. "It's a nice, slow chorale that we just use to warm up."

Orminski, a Clarkston junior, said the marching band has played  at past Band-O-Rama's held in Warriner Hall's Plachta Auditorium.

"It was a bit of a different year for Band-O-Rama," he said.

Groups like the Central Foundation, a four piece consisting of two euphonium players and two tuba players, and Ardito Assai Quintet, a wind ensemble, performed in various places throughout the room.

Before the Symphonic Wind Ensemble closed out the concert, Associate Director of Bands James Batcheller said the crowd "was in for a treat" if they had not seen the group perform before.

The CMU chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, the co-ed National Honorary College Band fraternity, provided refreshments after the event.

"A lot of times people come out and say how good the concert was," said Kappa Kappa Psi President Dan Bennett, a Rockford senior.

Bennett said this is the first year the fraternity provided a reception for the event.

"It's really important to all of the members of the groups," he said. "When we get a chance to give back to band supporters and the bands themselves, it makes us feel really good." he said.

Attending the event were bands from grades sixth through eighth from the Houghton Lake School District.

Stacy Jones, a chaperone whose son plays trombone in the sixth grade band, said the concert showed the younger students that hard work in the marching band can pay off and they could be performing in a Band-O-Rama event one day.

"If they keep with it, they can go further with their instruments," she said.

Houghton Lake High School junior Casey O'Toole, who plays the euphonium in his high school band, has attended previous Band-O-Rama events and said there is a lot more to band than just performing in high school.

He said he paid a bit more attention to the euphonium players in the CMU marching band throughout their performance.

"I watch the little things they do," he said. "I was trying to find a lot of different dynamics and who was doing what," he said.


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