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500 students come together for Pa. concert

March 03, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The gym at Waynesboro Area Senior High School was awash in the music of the classics, rock 'n' roll, the blues and John Philip Sousa.

More than 500 students from the district's high, middle and four elementary schools came together for the annual Music in Our Schools program.

The schools' bands and choral groups alternate programs every year. This year it was the bands' turn, said Gerald Kowallis, district choral director and music department chairman.

The program is held in March in schools around the country, Kowallis said.

Individual mini-concerts were presented by the elementary school bands represented by more than 200 students from Summitview, Hooverville, Fairview Avenue and Mowrey elementary schools, Waynesboro Middle School's concert, percussion and jazz bands, and the high school's jazz ensemble, indoor percussion, symphonic and jazz bands also performed.

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The evening ended with a grand finale of Sousa marches featuring all the bands.

The audience filled one entire side of the gym's bleachers.

"There's more people here tonight than you would see in a lot of athletic events," Kowallis said.

He said the annual event lets parents and the public see how well the bands are doing. "It has created a lot in interest in school music," he said.

Younger students are inspired by having an opportunity to play with older, more experienced students and older band members can see how far they have come by hearing younger students play, Kowallis said. "It's good for everybody to hear everybody else," he said.

Michelle Dominico, elementary music teacher, directed her students in a medley of four songs, including the "Marines Hymn." She had to calm down the 25-member drum section, whose members seemed to be really getting into the music. The saxophone and clarinet sections did likewise when their turn came on the "Mission Impossible" theme.

"It's my favorite music to play," said Scott Ziegler, 10, a Fairview Avenue fifth-grader who plays alto sax. He picked the sax to play because he thought it would be easy, but he was misinformed. "Everything is hard," he said.

Terrell Foster, 13, a Hooverville Elementary sixth grader, is a drum-section leader. He chose drums "because I always went around beating on things." He said he's a good drummer but doesn't think he'll play after he graduates.

Andrea Kline, a Summitview sixth grader, chose the flute two years ago because it would challenge her. "I'm getting a lot better, and I'll stick with it so I can get to be the best I can be," she said.

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