Many school bands showcase latest skills at All City on Monday

The concert bands from each school in the Cedar Falls school district performed on Monday, April 24 at the All-City concert at the high school. 

At the first concert, performers from the symphonic band at the high school, Holmes Junior High and elementaries on the north side of Cedar Falls played at 6 p.m.

“The format of each concert is simple: each band performs a couple of pieces (under 10 minutes of music per band), starting with the youngest band and progressing to the high school band. Then we finish the concert with all the bands playing ‘America, the Beautiful’ together as one band,” said Gerald Ramsey, a band director at the high school.

The first to play was the fifth grade band. “The All-City concert is a great way to welcome the fifth grade band members and their families to the Cedar Falls program,” Ramsey said. Afterward, each band plays, from the youngest performers to the oldest.

The concert showcases students’ growth from year to year. “Each concert cycle, every band has a list of things we are working to improve on and to continue our growth as musicians. All of the groups had a performance goal of maintaining better tempo consistency throughout their songs and they did a fantastic job meeting this goal,” said Laura Engelhardt, the band director at Holmes Junior High.

After the north side of Cedar Falls played at the first concert, performers from the high school wind symphony, Peet Junior High and the elementries on the south side of Cedar Falls played at 8 p.m.

Once again, fifth grade performers began the concert. “This was the first concert ever for the fifth grade band, and it was a huge success. I love watching the younger students’ reactions to the older students’ performances; this concert really helps those students envision themselves continuing to play their instruments for years to come and what they have to look forward to as they continue,” said Joseph Amsberry, the fifth grade band director.

Next was sixth grade, who were also directed by Amsberry. “The sixth grade band learned more about dynamics, style and other expressive nuances of the music. I believe they also learned perseverance. The pieces we performed were pretty challenging, but they rose up to the challenge and did a wonderful job,” he said.

Finally, students from Peet Junior High and the high school’s wind symphony closed the All City concert with their pieces.

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