Westosha Central’s Rosa Roloff, Melissa Wilkinson and Sally Windler deliver a Beethoven remix for their school’s Wind Ensemble (Jason Arndt/The Report).

Band-O-Rama packed Westosha Central Saturday

By Jason Arndt

Before a packed Westosha Central High School gymnasium, more than 400 students from five schools performed music ranging from the National Anthem to pop during the Jan. 27 annual Band-O-Rama.

The multiple school performance, according to Westosha Central band director Adam Scheele, has been a fixture for at least 25 years.

Along with Westosha Central’s Jazz Central and CSS Wind Ensemble, students in grades 5 through 8 from schools in Bristol, Brighton, Salem and Paris participated.

Scheele, who said about 436 total students were involved, believes the annual event bolsters the bond between Westosha Central and the feeder schools.

“I like the fact that I get to work with the grade schools,” Scheele said. “Also, it is great to see all of the other feeder schools come together.”

In the later performance, which followed the production by students in grades 5 and 6, the 5:30 p.m. presentation kicked off with a pre-performance by Westosha Central’s Jazz Central.

Scheele then directed the seventh and eighth grade bands in the “Star Spangled Banner” before the Brighton/Paris Jazz Ensemble presented “A Blues to Grow” by Dean Sorenson under direction of Ben Warmuth.

Bristol students Elizabeth Gayhart and Ariana Eiler stay in tune during their band performance (Jason Arndt/The Report).

Bristol’s band director John Murphy, who directed the seventh grade band in performances of “Barn Burner” by Michael Story and Johnnie Vinson’s “The Incredibles”, also guided his school’s Advanced Jazz Ensemble in the group’s delivery of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

Scheele, meanwhile, worked with the eighth grade band in delivering two songs, John Prescott’s “Aliens Landing” followed by Todd Stalter’s “Lightning!”

Additionally, Scheele directed Jazz Central in “Nola Roller” by Roger Schmidt and Westosha Central’s Wind Ensemble in a classic remix of Beethoven written by Randall Standridge.

For Salem’s Jazz Ensemble, the group presented “Hit the Road Jack” by Mike Lewis, which was directed by their school band director Heidi Anderson.

The annual collaboration, said Scheele, took at least two months to perfect.

“The students worked on this for a couple of months,” he said. “They worked and rehearsed together.”

The bands, however, intensified their efforts following holiday break.

“Once they got back from break, they worked on it more extensively,” Scheele said.

Meanwhile, before the older students showcased their skills, younger students made an appearance at the 4 p.m. production.

Including students, about 1,500 to 2,000 people were in attendance during both performances.


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