An evening of surprising events and harmonious melodies filled North Idaho College’s Schuler Performing Art Center on Wednesday and Thursday.
The annual “Gathering of the Bands” hosted by the NIC Wind Symphony Band, directed by Bryan Hannaford, welcomed young musicians and students from Bonners Ferry, Canfield, Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy, Clark Fork, House of the Lord Christian Academy, Kellogg, Lakes, Lakeland, Mullan, Northwest Christian, Post Falls, River City, Sadie Halstead, Sandpoint, St. Maries, and Timberlake middle schools.
Lee Shook, an experienced music educator and middle school band conductor, spent the day with the middle school students teaching them music to put on a concert for the community later in the evening.
The middle school band kicked off the concert with songs “January March,” “Legend of the Nighthawk,” and “Dixieland Jam.”
A percussion ensemble then followed the middle schooler’s pieces and was directed by Tim Sanford with the piece, “Atlantis.”
The last to perform was the NIC Wind Symphony Band which played pieces, “Amparito Roca,” “Montana Fanfare,” “October,” “Century Variants,” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
Thorin Panke, a trombone player in the NIC Wind Symphony, said his favorite song during the night was “Century Variants” because of the interesting pieces interwoven throughout the song and each section in the symphony was featured.
The most exciting and surprising part of the night, however, occurred during the very last piece. Hannaford stood in front of the Wind Symphony, directing “Stars and Stripes Forever” when suddenly the middle school band stood from their places in the crowd and began to play and finish the piece with the college band.
“The coolest part about the concert is when the Wind Symphony gets to play with the middle school bands for the last song, ‘Stars and Stripes Forever,’” said baritone saxophone player Brandon Webb.
The audience stood with a standing ovation when the last note was hit.
“Gathering of the Bands, we made it again!” Hannaford said. “Goodnight!”