Review: Band Night


Jazz band teacher and conductor Carolyn Castellano led the concert band during the Band Night concert on May 16, 2019.

Katherine Picker, Staff Writer

Dinosaurs, cheese hats, race car drivers, and jesters are probably a few of the last things that you’d expect to see at a band concert. However, that’s exactly what makes the band concerts at BHS so unique.

The Band Night concert on May 16, 2019 showcased three different bands: concert band, Music Collective, and the Samba Drumming Club.

As concert band erupted with a strong first piece, I was taken through many different emotions throughout the duration of the composition. Although the piece itself was mature and advanced, some of the students performing were dressed in silly outfits such as onesies and oversized cowboy hats. This made the listening experience a lot less intimidating than sitting in a professional music hall because it made the environment more comfortable for the audience to enjoy. Jazz band teacher and conductor Carolyn Castellano portrayed the multiple different emotions of the music through body movements that applied for each. Castellano bounced lightly with the playful measures and showed sharp and more dramatic gestures with the climax of the song.

As they continued on through their set, various seniors came to the stage to present Castellano with the senior gifts to her including a recliner chair for the band room, flowers, and a book of collected Castellano quotes. In return, Castellano gifted each of her students with Starbucks gift cards. These brief breaks between songs allowed Castellano or the students to crack a few jokes and keep the audience engaged, along with giving the viewers a taste of the fun and tight-knit nature of the band.

For example, during all of the pieces performed by concert band, there was a group of students at the back of the stage jumping, dancing, and headbanging to the music, all while playing several different instruments like a cowbell, xylophone, and cymbals. This same group of students added their own additions to some of the final songs in the set, including saying gibberish-like sounds into the mics as well as using a breakaway bottle on the back of one of the band members. These silly additions provoked laughter in the audience and showcased the personalities of those in the band perfectly. Nobody watching was left straight-faced.

After concert band performed, there was a brief intermission followed by the Samba Drumming Club. The whole group marched down the aisle banging on their drums with passion. The energy radiating off of all the members of the club was clearly prominent and everyone on stage as well as in the audience looked like they wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.

Lastly to perform was the Music Collective, which was a collection of some members of concert band along with a few additional members such as the pianist and electric guitarist. The group had a very casual feel which made the entire environment feel stress-free and supportive. As each song rang out, all musicians on-stage looked as if they were putting their entire body into the music, rather than just their hands. The students were bending over and giving the playing their all with focused expressions painted upon their faces. These gestures showed the obvious passion that these students have for their music. Some of the pieces were decorated with impressive guitar, saxophone, or trumpet solos which heightened the energy of the songs.

The Music Collective also performed an original piece by junior Javi Limon Jr, titled “Mercy.” This piece was fun to listen to and felt as if it was being sung by Elvis himself. The piece was impressive and seemed professionally composed. Finishing the concert off was a piece that started slow and built up to a powerful climax, including vocals sung by senior Lia Rosenblatt and junior Jonah Fox. The harmonies between them were smooth and satisfying to listen to as they meshed seamlessly together. The audience even jumped in and waved their flashlights back and forth to resemble a true rock concert.

All of the different groups that performed portrayed different moods through their music which allowed for different personal storylines to play through my head. The experience was overwhelming and unexpected. However, the concert showcased more than just the prominent skills that BHS has in the music department. The show also showed the real relationships that exist within the bands that are grown and strengthened by the mutual passions for music.