Band to collaborate with Park Singers

Band looks forward to winter concert

Senior+Ana+Armbrecht+plays+the+flute+at+the+joint+band+and+Park+Singers+practice+Nov.+28.+The+combined+group+will+perform+at+the+band+concert+Dec.+3.
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Band to collaborate with Park Singers

Senior Ana Armbrecht plays the flute at the joint band and Park Singers practice Nov. 28. The combined group will perform at the band concert Dec. 3.

Senior Ana Armbrecht plays the flute at the joint band and Park Singers practice Nov. 28. The combined group will perform at the band concert Dec. 3.

Carissa Prestholdt

Senior Ana Armbrecht plays the flute at the joint band and Park Singers practice Nov. 28. The combined group will perform at the band concert Dec. 3.

Carissa Prestholdt

Carissa Prestholdt

Senior Ana Armbrecht plays the flute at the joint band and Park Singers practice Nov. 28. The combined group will perform at the band concert Dec. 3.

By Amaia Barajas, St. Louis Park High School

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As senior Lexi Lee, who plays clarinet in the wind ensemble, nears the last winter concert of her band career, she reflects on ending band and saying goodbye to another high school experience.

“It’s weird to think about. I know everything has to end eventually in high school, but I’ve been in band my entire high school career and so it’s weird that even that is starting to come to an end,” Lee said.

According to high school band director Steven Schmitz, one of the songs the wind ensemble will be performing at the Dec. 3 concert holds personal meaning for him.

“We have ‘Distant Land; A Prayer for Freedom,’ which is really important to me because I learned about it when I was teaching last year in South Africa, and I got to visit where Nelson Mandela was in prison and so that was written for both the fall of the Berlin and the release of Nelson Mandela in 1991,” Schmitz said.

Schmitz said that he is looking forward to the band’s collaboration with Park Singers on the song “Distant Land; A Prayer for Freedom.”

“I’m really excited because we get to combine with the Park Singers, who’s a fine group, and we don’t really combine band and choir as often so they’ll be singing with our playing,” Schmitz said.

Senior Ben Klepfer, who plays trumpet in the wind ensemble and sings tenor in Park Singers, said he has confidence that the band will be able to execute everything they have been practicing in preparation for the winter concert.

“I think it will go well, it always does. Mr. Schmitz does a good job at getting us prepared and we do a good job of working and listening in class and getting our stuff together,” Klepfer said.

Schmitz said the concert will be different than past years and he hopes the concert will lead to more musical collaborations.

“I’m just excited. Hopefully it opens up more opportunities in the future to work with choir and orchestra, because in the past we’ve just had one soloist come sing with jazz band. Otherwise there’s not as much collaboration as I think we would like,” Schmitz said.

Junior Mitchell VonEschen, who is a percussionist and baritone said he is excited to perform “Distant Land” because it is different than other pieces the band has worked on.

“I am really looking forward to the piece ‘Distant Land’, which we’re going to play with Park Singers because I think it will be really cool,” VonEschen said. “I’ve always wanted the music classes to combine in some way and I hope we do more of that in the future because it sounds really pretty.”

According to Schmitz, the band concert was 7 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Auditorium.

This story was originally published on The Echo on December 6, 2018.