The annual Chester Grade School Spring Concert and Awards Night was held Wednesday April 24 at Chester High School's Colbert Gymnasium.
The evening featured the CGS 5th Grade Band, 6th Grade Band, Jr. High Chorus, and Jr. High Band. Band director Sue Colonel and Choral Director Steve Colonel featured several selections with each performing unit and Vicky Beers was the accompanist for the choir.
The evening was complete with the presentation of the Annual CGS Music Awards which included two Director's Awards, a Most Outstanding Instrumental Award and two Most Outstanding Vocal Awards.
Mrs. Colonel presented two special awards called the "Director's Awards" to two students who were very helpful, hardworking, dedicated, and focused throughout the year.
"Both of these students were always there for me this year. They frequently asked if there was anything that they could do to assist me or help with. They volunteered all the time. I couldn't have made it without them", said Colonel. "I want to present Chelsea August and Julia Venus with the "Director's Award" for all of their service to the band this year."
Mrs. Colonel then presented the 2019 "Outstanding Instrumentalist" Award to Jacob Handel, an outstanding 8th Grade trumpet player. Colonel said, "Jacob took a solo to contest the past three years and his solos were difficult solos. I will certainly miss him next year when he is a freshman at Chester High School."
Steve Colonel then presented two "Outstanding Vocalist" Awards to two 8th Grade Chorus members.
Colonel said, "I typically present one "Outstanding Vocalist" Award each year, but this year it was a tie after I looked at all of the criteria. Both of these students are very good vocalists so I decided to honor both of these fine young vocalists with the award".
Cesar Marquez and Chelsea August earned the top vocal honors for 2019. Both will be students at Chester High School next year and will be deeply missed at CGS.
The concert began with three instrumental selections performed by the 5th Grade Band. Mrs. Colonel praised the group for making great progress this year as beginners in band as the school year began. She was deeply impressed with their improvement and encouraged each of them to continue their careers next year.
The 5th Grade Band played, "Wolverine Trail", by M. Putman; "12 the Clock Strikes", by R. Grice; and "At the Edge of Chaos", by R. Barett. All three songs were played well and demonstrated the band's expertise and excitement with 5th Grade Band.
Immediately following the conclusion of the 5th Grade Band Mrs. Colonel brought the 6th Grade Band center stage to perform three selections. The level of expertise exhibited by the second-year band members was apparent as they played more difficult music and appeared to flow with Mrs. Colonel's direction throughout the performance.
The 6th Grade Band was featured on three selections including, "Lone Eagle March", by J. Edmondson; "Primordium", by M. Williams; and a four-part tune titled, "Prehistoric Suite", by P. Jennings. This selection told a story of prehistoric dinosaurs including, I. Stegosaurus (The Gladiator); II. Brontosaurus (Gentile Giant); III. Pterodactyls (Graceful Giants of the Sky); and IV. The Battle (Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops).
The Junior High Chorus, directed by Steve Colonel was next to perform and the group did a wonderful job of singing three beautiful songs as accompanied by Vicky Beers.
The first song was titled, "Lovely Evening", Arr. R.M. Gray. Next was "Firefly", by M. Patterson. Third was, "A Jubilant Song", by V. Johnson. The Jr. High Chorus closed their portion of the show with a song titled, "A Million Dreams".
The Junior High Band was the final group to perform. Mrs. Colonel brought the 7th and 8th Grade musicians on stage to perform three songs to bring the concert to a close. The songs included "Dorchester", by E. Osterling; "The Ash Grove Fantasy", by B. Kopetz; and "Prescience", by V. Lopez.
Mr. Colonel and Mrs. Colonel expressed their appreciation to the 8th Grade musicians who were performing their final spring concerts as Chester Grade School students. Each 8th grade choral and instrumental student was recognized and given appreciation for their years of service to the CGS Music Programs.
8th Grade students included: Tulsa Addison*, Clayton Andrews, Chelsea August*, Aaliysce Bell, Scott Bernachi, Maggie Clendenin, Breanna Coffey, Sydney Collins, Kaitlyn Thompson, Isaac Earl, Caitlin Eggemeyer*, Emma Eggemeyer, Payton Ellet*, Chelsea Essman, Trace Fricke, Ariana Gaetz, Kayla Garniss, and Savanna Guebert.
More 8th Graders included Paige Guidry, Karlea Hahs, Kelsey Hall, Jacob Handel, Jesse Heath, Camrynn Howie, Jorge Jardines, Megan Lux, Kerringtyn Malley, Cesar Marquez*, Reese McCormick, and Dylan McLelland*.
Finally, the last group of 8th Graders to be recognized included Aubrey Miers, Briley Miles, Rilee Owens*, Jonathan Renfroe, Lily Smith*, Mikayla Straight*, Paige Thomas, Gwen Turner*, Julia Venus*, Seth Walker, Aaron Welten, Austin Welten, and Noah Wetzel. Students with an asterisk * were members of both the band and chorus.
Mrs. Colonel said, "I always tell my 8th graders that I won't miss them next year because I will be at all of the high school performances to watch them perform. I do hope that all of you continue to grow and improve as high school musicians".
Mr. Colonel said, "At CHS we try to make it possible to work band and chorus into each of your schedules. There is always a way to make it happen and I truly hope that you will all continue to play in band and sing in choral groups at CHS."
Upcoming events were announced by Mr. and Mrs. Colonel as related to the CHS and CGS Music Departments.
Saturday May 4 the Grade School Band and Chorus will compete at the IGSMA State Solo and Ensemble Contest at Unity Point School in Carbondale.
Tuesday May 7 is the Chester High School Spring Concert and Awards Night held at CHS Colbert Gymnasium at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday May 16 the 6th and 7th Grade Bands will play for the CGS 8th Grade Graduation held at the CHS Gymnasium.
Saturday May 18 there will be an all-day event at the Chester Country Club with proceeds being donated to the Chester Music Patrons. Funds will help support the upcoming 2021 CHS Band and Swing Choir trip to Florida where they will perform at Disney World.
The event includes a golf tournament, public luncheon, silent auction, 50/50 drawing and performances by several CHS ensembles. All band and chorus parents are encouraged to volunteer to assist with this effort. Mr. Colonel will send information home to parents very soon.
The Chester High School Band and Swing Choir will perform Sunday May 19 at the 2019 Chester High School Graduation.
To end the concert, the combined 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Bands joined to perform the popular rock tune, "Hand Clap" made famous by the group, Fitz and the Tantrums. The musicians, vocalists, and audience members joined in with the musicians in closing the show with a rockin' good time!