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City bands help reap a 'Harvest' of music

October 24, 2004|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

The Hubs and the Rebels banded together Saturday.

The occasion was Harvest of Bands, an annual music showcase at South Hagerstown High School. Eleven bands from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia took part.

Katherine Seman, South High's band director, said she was glad North Hagerstown High School's Hub Band was one of them.

Because South High's Rebel Band and North High's Hub Band are aligned with different music circuits, they don't often mingle, other than at Washington County's Showcase of Marching Bands each year.

The Hub Band last appeared at Harvest of Bands about three years ago, said Jeremy Karacz, North High's band director.

The get-together on Saturday was abbreviated.

North High took the field at 1:15 p.m. The Hubs played "The Third Vortex," which depicts a storm.

Karacz described the four parts: "The Summoning," the formation, led to "Fear," an anguished escalation, followed by "Ballad," which symbolized a slow and relaxed eye, then "Fury," a period of full velocity and rage.

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Karacz said his band likes "the aggressiveness, the sheer volume" of the piece.

Coming into Harvest of Bands, the Hub color guard had stormed its way to first place in four straight competitions, said Jessica Sasser, one of the team's two captains.

"We started out a little rough, but the work's paying off," she said.

The Hubs watched a few bands that followed them, then left for the Sea of Sounds Band Competition in Middletown, Pa., near Harrisburg. Boonsboro High School also was scheduled to play there.

The Hubs weren't around to hear that the band placed second out of five in its category at Harvest of Bands. The color guard was named best among seven teams in three categories combined.

North High competes in the Tournament of Bands circuit. South High is part of the US Scholastic Band Association.

Seman said the bands are trying to qualify for the upcoming championships.

If Rebel Band alto sax player Nick Stevens gets there, he likely will have family following along.

His mother, Cindy Stevens, was wearing a green jacket with his name, instrument and graduating year (2008) on it.

She said Nick started playing in third grade and takes private lessons. He's in three bands - concert, jazz and marching.

"He just likes his music," she said.

Later, as the public address announcer read messages of support from family and friends, one was for Nick, encouraging him to "reach for the stars."

As the host, the Rebel Band wasn't competing, but it drew a loud cheer from the hometown crowd nonetheless.

The Rebels performance at 3:15 p.m. was called "Serenade and Jazz." It started with Elvis Presley's "Are You Lonesome Tonight," switched over to jazz and swing, then returned to Elvis.

"They did a nice job, considering Jeremy (Bishop, a trumpet soloist) had strep throat," Seman said.

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