Peet bands offer last performances of school year

In an emotional night, the Peet Junior High band performed for the last time this year on Tuesday, May 24 at 7 p.m., and the bands from each grade were prepared to play their most complicated pieces. 

The concert began with the seventh grade band, who, directed by Eric Lins, played two pieces for the audience before listening to a speech from Lins, in which he tearfully recalled the hardships of this year and his band’s perseverance throughout it all. 

After the seventh grade performance, the eighth and ninth grade bands, directed by Ben Byersdorfer, each played two pieces, with Byersdorfer taking the opportunity to deliver a speech for each band, encouraging the outgoing eighth graders and saying a farewell to this year’s freshmen.

Tuesday’s band concert is evidence of how much has changed over the past year, with Byersdorfer recalling last year’s masking and social distancing protocols, while also noting the ups and downs endured by the music department this year. “Although this was probably the most challenging year for our band department, I feel like the right people were always in the right place, always at the right time, and the concert was no exception to that.” 

He also said that each of the band’s unique drives to perform exceptionally were what made this concert stand out. “The seventh graders played fearlessly … then the eighth graders got up and played with no fear. They get more excited when there’s more people in front of them,” Byersdorfer said. “And [the ninth graders], in attempting to play something with a difficulty level that’s never been played before, just nailed it. That was one of the best memories of this ninth grade class—how composed and well put-together you are.”

Freshman Kaia Bartlett concurred. “I think that our last concert was a great closing to our experience at Peet. Although I am very sad and I will miss Peet and this band so much, I think we had a great last moment together. I think the band did a great job of coming together and just working as a team, which is generally what Peet prides itself on.” 

Byersdorfer’s words coincided with those of Bartlett’s, with the band director describing himself as sentimental about this year’s outgoing class of freshmen, expressing himself as “full of gratitude” for the chance to be a band director at Peet Junior High. “Anybody who’s anybody in the band world knows that this school is a great school,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for a better program.”

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