Italy Gladiator Regiment Band performs Christmas concert

Image: The Italy Gladiator Regiment Band hosted a Christmas concert on Thursday night.  The sixth grade band began the event.

The Italy Gladiator Regiment Band hosted a Christmas concert on Thursday night. The sixth grade band began the event. (Anne Sutherland)

The Christmas Concert

The Italy Gladiator Regiment Band performed for students, family and friends on Thursday night in the George Scott gymnasium. Music was prepared with hard, diligent work and Band Director Jesus Perez guided the students with ease as they played their instruments.

The sixth grade students have only been playing and practicing for 11 weeks, according to newcomer and assistant band director, Erica Miller. “I am so proud of these sixth graders. They have worked very hard and are a joy to teach everyday,” Miller said. The audience was impressed with the music they heard. As each grade came to perform, the music seemed to get a little more challenging. The zeal each student has was captured with each note performed.

The 7th grade band was the first elementary band Mr. Perez began training and progress could seen. They played Good King Wenceslas and North Pole Sleigh Ride.

The 8th grade, equally as good, played Frosty, The Snowman and Feliz Navidad. Mr. Perez explained this would be the first time they would participate in a middle school competition. They would be competing in the spring at a UIL contest and practiced one of their competition songs, Theme & Variations.

The climax of the program included the high school band. They performed a Christmas “Pop” Sing-along, playing the songs: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Silver Bells and Rudolf, the Red Nose Reindeer.

Mr. Perez took a moment and thanked the audience for their support and named a few people that go above and beyond to help the band, which included the Band Boosters, Administration and School Board.

The IHS Gladiator Regiment Band performed more holiday songs and Reid Jacino was the soloist trumpet for Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. Maddie Pittmon awed the audience with the angelic sounds of the harp. “I am so amazed that we have Maddie here and she can play the harp for us,” Perez announced.

The band included renditions of Harmonious Blacksmith, Polar Express and Nutcracker Suite and blew the audience away.

Past and Future Competitions

Recently, eleven 8th grade students competed in tryouts for the East Zone Region Band and two will be representing Italy ISD. Out of 70 flute participants, Andrea Munoz made #4 chair in All Region Band. Also, Ryan Conner made chair #6 out of 32 tuba competitors in All Region Band. “It is awesome to have this level of playing at such a young age,” Perez stated.

Mr. Perez concluded the special evening with special remarks about the upcoming spring, "I am looking forward to early March and the next contest. We auditioned at the Region 8 All Region and competed against all 42 schools. Freshman, Alexis Sampley competed with her oboe and now will advance to state competition, along with Trevor Davis who made All Region and Area, as well, playing his clarinet. “I am proud of our Italy kids, sixth grade through twelfth grades. I want to thank everyone for being so welcome and open to our new position of assistant director. We are able to give individual attention and the quality of the band is sky rocketing. I am looking forward to the growth of the band program. We need to keep the kids interested in band.”

Mark your calendar!

The Band Boosters are hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser February 11, 2012 and they could use your help. If you are willing, please contact Davee Garcia with your gifts of service or goods: 972-483-6341 or contact by email gladiatormom@sbcglobal.net. “Let’s work together to support our favorite musicians.”