This year, the concert band is taking on a unique endeavor. It is a very exciting time for the band members including Creative Arts Department Chair, Todd Millen. The musicians are thrilled to partake in an entirely new experience; Mr. Millen is commissioning a piece for the band to perform in the spring.
Mr. Millen hired award-winning composer, Shawn Okpebholo, to write a piece exclusively for our concert band. “It is going to feature senior Matthew Marottolo as the lead singer, who will be accompanied by the band,” said Mr. Millen.
Mr. Okpebholo has written many pieces and this year. KO is fortunate enough to have him working alongside our band, which is made up of 40 talented musicians, including returning players and new freshmen. His music has been performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The National Cathedral, and many more. Mr. Okpebholo is planning to visit KO in March and spend three days working alongside the musicians to share his musical wisdom.
The year has been off to a great start. According to Mr. Millen, the band has been sounding great from what he has noticed from the few practices they have had. The band practices three times every two weeks because it is split between the other ensembles. Sophomore flautist Shri Narasimhan said that he enjoys the music selection this year. In order to meet his musical goals, he practices five times a week and said that he can see improvement with this practice schedule.
Sophomore tenor saxophonist James Beerbower said he is happy that there are still many kids involved in high school band. “Mr. Millen is great because he always knows what he is doing, and you can tell he has had a lot of experience,” James said.
There will be concerts, such as the winter and spring concert, and Jazzappella as usual around the holidays as well as the spring, giving a chance for the band to showcase their skills. Additionally, the band will show off their exceptional talent when they perform Mr. Okpebholo’s commissioned piece at the end of April.