VIDEO: Band, choir seniors honored at Perry Spring Concert

Senior band and choir members pose for the myriad of cameras demanding their attention. Choir members received medals while band members were given pillows made of the old marching band uniforms they wore for their first three years in high school. Instrumental music instructor Brandon Weeks' mother provided the seamstress skills.

The seniors in the Perry High School band and choir performed for one final time in the Perry Performing Arts Center and their Spring Concert Monday.

The PHS Symphonic Band, under the direction of instrumental music instructor Brandon Weeks, performed three numbers. The band led off with the Erik Morales composition “Soaring” before entertaining the crowd with “Down a Country Lane” by Aaron Copland and “Prairie Songs” by Pierre La Plante.

Annual awards were then presented, with Morgan Holmstrom winning the John Phillips Sousa Award for Outstanding Musician, as voted by the band members. Sophomore Breanna Penenger earned the Iowa Band Association Award of Merit, with two members of each class earning Karl King Awards. Seniors honored were Holmstrom and Alonzo Lumbreras, with juniors Edwardo Medina and Allie Hopkins, sophomores Peneger and Angel Escobar and freshmen Adriana Eastman and Madison also acknowledged.

Vocal music instructor Jenn Nelson presented IHSMA Solo and Ensemble Division 1 Ratings awards to Penenger (vocal solo), Saydee Strough (vocal solo) and Neyda Alfaro and Penenger (Like Duet).

Students who earned a vocal music letter and who then participated in extra events and volunteered for several duties earned additional points, and two in each class were honored for “going above and beyond” in their “devotion to the program.”

Seniors honored were Alfaro and Ana Rose Funez, with Haley Vaughn and Karley Whelchel (juniors), Penenger and Strough (sophomores) and Madyson Hill and Beau Nelson (freshman) recognized. Penenger and Hill each received a plaque for being the two highest point-earning letterwinners.

The Perry High School Mixed Choir.
The Perry High School Mixed Choir.

Band seniors recognized were: Kitana Summerson, Daniella Tapia, Alison Tobar, Jordan Bane, Ana Rosa Funez, Elizabeth Blakeman, Kyle Neuhalfen, Alfaro, Holmstrom and Lumbreras. Choir seniors acknowledged were: Evelyn Carranza, Cleanna Castro, Rebecca Dobson, Katarina Leesley, Sierra Pulica, Maryha Rosas/Kirkman, Alfaro, Funez, Summerson and Tapia.

Senior band members received a special parting gift from Weeks, courtesy of his mother, who used her seamstress skills to fashion pillows for each senior made from the old marching band uniforms they had worn in their first three years in band, and which they were delighted to discard in favor of new threads this year.

After the awards were given, the Perry Chorale took to the risers to perform an arrangement of “Over the Rainbow.” The Treble Choir sang “Weep No More” before being joined by Amy Saylor of Des Moines, a friend of Nelson, who accompanied the choir on oboe for a stirring selection “Beneath the African Sky” from Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory, who adapted the number from a song a six-year old survivor of the Rwandan genocide had recalled hearing her mother sing.

The Mixed Choir closed the concert by singing “Dreams of Thee” from Eric W. Barnum before delighting the crowd with the swing-beat spiritual “Witness” as arranged by Dick Bolks.


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