Review: Bearden welcomes WVMS 8th graders for packed holiday concert


Bradynn Belcher

Bearden’s band performs with WVMS 8th graders at Friday night’s holiday concert in the gym.

I drove around campus twice on Friday night in hopes of finding a parking place.

Having finally found a spot, I hurried into the gym at 6:25, anticipating that there would be plenty of seats left for the Bearden holiday band concert. I could not have been more wrong. Though I arrived five minutes early, I had to resort to standing off to the side in the crowd of latecomers. 

I was annoyed, uncomfortable, and sweaty standing in the packed gym. I truly contemplated why I chose to come here on my Friday night when I could have been anywhere else. I began pushing my way through the crowd to the exit.

But then, the music began.

I stopped dead in my tracks, instantly regretting my urge to leave. The Bearden High School band began their annual holiday concert; however, they were not alone. The Bearden band extended an invitation for the West Valley Middle School Band eighth graders to join the seasoned high schoolers at their last concert. 

If I had not been told prior to this evening that 8th graders would be joining the seasoned Bearden band in their last performance of the season, I would have never been able to tell. 

The purpose of this concert is to not only bring the Bearden community holiday cheer, but to also allow the West Valley 8th grader band students to get acclimated to playing at a higher level and to allow them to begin to form connections with the current high school band members.

“I did participate in the concert in 8th grade, and it really influenced my decision to join in high school,” sophomore Aidan Chase said. “Seeing the band play much more complex music than I had played in middle school really made an impact on me.”

WVMS 8th grade percussionist Emerson Delias participated in the holiday concert on Friday night. 

“I think that this concert helped me very much in seeing what the high school band is really like,” Delias said. “I was a little nervous about this performance, but I feel that the band teachers at WVMS prepared me for this well.”

While the band season coming to an end is bittersweet, returning members are excited about the future talent to come through the program.

“I am very excited about all of the eighth graders joining us next year,” Chase said. “I love meeting new people and seeing their potential so we can help them in the coming years.”

The jump from middle school to high school can be gruesome for some, and being prepared well is essential for a smooth transition.

“I think that the WVMS directors did excellent in preparing me for the high school band,” Delias said. “I feel I know everything I need to know for high school band.”

The Bearden High School band members are not strangers to hard work, but the hard work is worth it.

“I want people to know that band is hard work, but the reward is so much more than worth the effort,” Chase said. “Getting to play for an audience who appreciates what you do is a truly wonderful experience. 

“This performance is a perfect start to the holiday season.”