Heights Concert Band,Cove Wind Ensemble to perform next week

By DEBORAH KELLEY

The Copperas Cove High School Wind Ensemble and The Heights Concert Band will perform in An Evening of Music on Thursday, November 12 at 7 p.m. at the Lea Ledger Auditorium, 400 S. 25th Street in Copperas Cove.

The Copperas Cove High School Wind Ensemble, directed by CCISD Director of Instrumental Music Andrew Nixon, will open the concert. The CCHS Wind Ensemble is comprised of student musicians selected through an audition process. They must display advanced skill on their instruments and also meet academic requirements. The Wind Ensemble’s selections include the Holst’s challenging classic “First Suite in Eb” and a rousing rendition of “Folk Dances” by Shostakovich.

The Heights Concert Band, founded in 1978, is made up of adult musicians under the direction of Carlton R. Morris. Over the years, the band has performed all over Central Texas. Several CCHS Wind Ensemble students are also members of The Heights Concert Band as apprentice musicians.  

The Heights Concert Band’s selections for the evening include John Philip Sousa’s “The Thunderer,” a band arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s “Finale from Symphony in F Minor No. 4,” and a clarinet feature, “Pie in the Face Polka” by Henry Mancini.

Local veterans are honored annually at this concert by the traditional performance of “Salute to the Armed Forces” arranged by Ken C. Wood, a long-time member of The Heights Concert Band and a former U. S. Army Bandsman who, as a composer, has published over twenty pieces for band. Wood studied Euphonium at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

“This annual concert is a smorgasbord with a wide variety of music for every taste,” Wood said. “It’s always entertaining.”

The Heights Concert Band will feature two soloists during the evening. Dan Hermann, a retired Army bandsman, will play a tenor trombone solo entitled “You Are So Beautiful.”  He has been a member of The Heights Concert Band for four years. The other featured soloist, Lawrence Varela-Halbert,  Jr., is a 2006 graduate of Copperas Cove High School and 2015 graduate of Texas State University. He currently is an assistant band director at S. C. Lee Junior High in Copperas Cove. Varela-Halbert will be playing “My Regards,” an alto saxophone solo accompanied by the band.

“The Heights Concert Band has been a part of my life since I was in high school,” Varela-Halbert said. “Returning to the stage after starting my professional career in music education, I am very grateful for this opportunity.”

The Wind Ensemble and The Heights Concert Band will combine to close the evening with several pieces including selections from “The Music Man” and Suppe’s “Light Cavalry Overture”.

The concert is free and open to the public.

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