Friday, May 24, 2024

Plains student musicians present upbeat concert

by TRACY SCOTT Valley Press
| April 17, 2024 12:00 AM

Months of hard work and hours of practicing by Plains students cumulated last week in an incredible performance by the choir, junior high band and concert band.

Over 150 people were in attendance during an upbeat exciting performance conducted by Loren Lauridson in the gymnasium. 

The choir started off the evening with several vocals. First off was the song "Home" by Phillip Phillips, accompanied by Sydne Connolly. Their last song was "Make my Music" by Audrey Snyder, with a special solo by Abigail Wessely. Choir members were Abigail Wessely, Maddie Carter, Kaylynn Boes, Randie Kilgore and Kennedy Starika.

Next up for the evening was the junior band playing three songs, "Hammer and Rail," "Hope Everlasting" and "Friend Like Me." They showed off the hours of practicing in the performance they gave.

The percussion ensemble was played by Joe Martin, Sam Feliksa, Isa Bakker and Brenden Vanderwall, and each dressed in Hawaiian shirts. They were animated during their performance, much to the delight of the audience. 

A unique performance also took place with the ensemble. Their instruments were construction equipment. Dressed in hard hats with plastic buckets and ladders as drums, they gave a surprisingly impressive performance. Look for the ensemble to be present during this year’s Plains Day Parade.

During intermission, a drawing for the winner of the Plains High School Band fundraiser was announced. The winning ticket was pulled out of the bucket by Kalem Ercanbrack. 135 tickets were sold for $10 each. It was a 50/50 split with half going to the band and half to a lucky winner and that winner was Wendy Carr. 

The concert band performed two songs, "Mountain of the Sun" by Rob Grice, and "Celtic Echoes" by Larry Clark. Eight members of the band, Alex Hordyski, Sam Feliksa, Joe Martin, Brenden Vanderwall, Peyton Wasson, and Abigail Wessely are graduating this year. 

The final performance was a drum solo played by the extraordinarily talented Sam Feliksa in his Hawaiian shirt.

Closing out the night of music, band director Lauridson awarded several band members for their achievements. Pep band participation awards went to Brooklyn Crain, Kylar Bannout, Riley Geenen, Annika Ercanbrack. Musicianship awards went to seventh-grader Kylar Bannout and eighth-grader, Riley Geenen. National choral award went to Abigal Wessely. The director award for the high school band went to Samuel Feliksa. The John Phillips Sousa award went to Wasson. The runner up to the Sousa award was Samuel Feliksa. 

The next event for the bands will be the District Music Festival, April 19 at Sentinel High School in Missoula 9:40 a.m. in the Sentinel Band Room. The choir will be performing at 11:15 a.m.

    Plains music teacher Loren Lauridson presents the John Phillips Sousa Award to senior band member Peyton Wasson. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott 

    Choir members Abigail Wessely, Maddie Carter, KayLynn Boes, Randie Kilgore and Kennedy Starika singing their opening song "Home." (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott 
    Senior Sam Feliksa plays a drum solo. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott 

    BBCC Big Bend News
 Abigail Wessely performs a solo during the choir concert. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
 Tracy Scott