Mustang Bands remain busy as school year nears end
By Jacob Sturm
Music aficionados will have plenty of opportunities to get their money’s worth in Mustang over the next few weeks.
Mustang Bands will be hosting numerous concerts at the Performing Arts Center between now and the end of the 2022-23 school year. On top of that, Middle School students in the district had the Day of Bands event.
Ryan Edgmon, the Director of Bands at Mustang Public Schools, said the day (which happened on April 22) has three bands from each of the middle schools and corresponding intermediate schools combine together for concerts.
“We started our Day of Band routine dating back to 2011 or something like that,” Edgmon said. “There are so many ensembles and there is so much happening in the City of Mustang, especially as we near the end of the year. We made this kind of a celebration of the end of our year in able to do something nice for the kids. It’s on a Saturday, but all of a sudden what would have been spread over five or six days all of a sudden becomes knocked out in one day or one afternoon… It’s a really cool day.”
The Jazz Bands for the three middle schools and the high school also performed in their concert last Tuesday night.
Edgmon also talked about the Percussion Concert, which happened this past Thursday at 7 p.m.
“That concert is all percussion,” Edgmon said. “So, everything from pitch to rhythmic. And those kids have been really working hard on that stuff since the end of Marching Band. It’s really awesome to see how those students have grown. That’s a huge project that has been ongoing for about six or seven months, and that percussion concert is the culmination of that.”
May 9 and May 11 are the high school concerts for the end of the year. Edgmon said Symphonic Band 3 and Concert Band 1 will be performing in their concert on May 9, while Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band 1 and Symphonic Band 2 will be performing on May 11.
A Mustang student also wrote a piece of literature for the concert band to perform. Edgmon said that piece will be performed when the corresponding band is on stage May 11. Edgmon said the piece will be premiered at the concert.
“We’re really picky about the literature we put in front of our kids,” Edgmon said. “So, for not only one of our students to have written it, but for it to also meet the qualifications of things that we look for when we look for good quality materials is really spectacular.”
The wind ensemble will feature a clarinet concerto that will be played alongside Alex Vo (a three-year All-State student) as an additional opportunity.
“The cool part about the high school band concerts this year is we’ve had several through the months of March, April and May,” Edgmon said. “Really February, March, April and May depending on which groups the students are in. Those students have displayed a lot of growth this year as well. So, we finally get the opportunity to put the exclamation point on that.”
The band will also be performing at Mustang High Schools graduation.
“We’re so fortunate that we’re able to create an environment that fosters the growth of kids and doesn’t put caps on them,” Edgmon said. “And so, what I mean by that is because in some cases the size we are and have some of the diversity of interest levels that we have, which goes back into the elective choices the kids can make in school and that kind of stuff, the kids get opportunities to explore that growth, and when they do really spectacular things happen.”
“The thing that I love about our program is the fact that the students that just love music and they’re playing their horns and want to be around their peers who also love music and playing their horns, those people have a place,” Edgmon said. “But the people who are really pushing, that want to go and try to make a career professionally in music, they also have a place. And there’s adequate growth potential and trajectory for both.”
Edgmon said he thinks that is a lot of the mission of the upper administration and the teachers who work in Mustang. He also said, as a program leader, that is something that makes him really proud.
Amidst all of these activities, the band is starting to begin next year’s plan as this year is wrapping up. That includes the Marching Band auditions, drumline auditions and color guard that will propel the band into the Fall.