A Hawk’s Flight to Branson


Brandon Harper, Guest Columnist

On the 28th of April the Hillcrest Band and Concert Choir boarded a coach bus and went to Branson, Missouri for competition. Despite the predicted weather and the small numbers, the ensembles performed very well.

Friday, we left and drove about eight hours to our Hilton hotel where the service was amazing and the band performed 2 selections:

  • “Rhythm of the Winds” by Frank Erickson is a popular standard in the lighter programming repertoire. It is a bright, energetic work which displays many of the compositional techniques with very controlled dynamic and style changes for which Frank Erickson is so famous.
  • “A Gallop to End All Gallops” is a piece that is technically rather easy, but this spirited gallop is a gem of a piece in Warren Barker’s distinctive style, it has the interesting, inventive “twists” in it to make it a really fun piece, yet it is done within a standard format. It’s perfect for that spot that calls for a march, but where you don’t want to do a “march” march.

And the choir performed 2 selections as well.

  • “Walking In Jerusalem” by Bill Monroe
  • “Let Me be Your Star” by Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman

On Saturday, we got all suited up and ready to go, but we couldn’t march due to bad weather. The marching band and majorettes didn’t get to perform due to bad weather, but we made the most out of that day.

Overall the band walked away with a 1st Place Trophy in Concert Band as well as the title Grand Champion. The concert choir earned 4th place in a very tough division. All in all we walked away with an experience and memories that no one can every take away from us.

Mrs. Freeman was asked how she thought both ensembles performed; she said, “the band although they performed well I know can do better, but I am proud of the performances and how well everyone behaved. And the choir sounded amazing, we did have some tough competition though, so I am really proud of them for holding their own.”

This was a very, very interesting experience and I am really glad that I was able to be a part of it in my senior year.