The Anna Independent School District Music Program held its annual Christmas Concert on Dec. 15. The concert is held to showcase all the band programs and the students who earn spots in the UIL All-Region Band; however, the regional competition was postponed to Monday due to inclement weather.
The concert kicked off the show with the Anna High School Jazz Ensemble performing in the lobby of the high school while parents and band supporters bid in a silent auction for an array of items donated by band sponsors. With the stage lined in poinsettias donated by local families in honor of different individuals, the Anna Middle School wind ensemble, beginning and symphonic bands were featured first with the Anna High School Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble following.
Chris Burke, Director of the Anna High School Band, received an energetic performance from the band while having fun with a little Broadway Christmas trivia for audience members audience during the selection, Christmas on Broadway.
"The main thing I enjoy is making music with the students. I personally get major enjoyment out of all the activities that go into the Christmas Concert weekend. The students seem to get excited about the concert and you can tell that they enjoy it by how they perform," said Burk.
Each of the ensembles featured performed a wide array of Christmas favorites to a near-packed auditorium.
"My favorite songs that the high school performed were Wonderful Christmastime and Christmas on Broadway. I also was very excited to feature the Jazz Band in their first public performance. Those students have been working hard and they sound great. I also got excited hearing the Middle School Bands and how well they did," added Burk.
The AHS Band program accepted a donation of $3,280 from the Bob Utter Ford Lincoln dealership as a part of the band’s participation in a fundraiser that involved free test drives for parents and band supporters. The booster program was thanked for its support, as well.
On Dec. 16, the Anna High School band performed at the UIL Regional Competitions where eight students earned spots in the All-region Band with three being placed in the symphonic band and five in the concert band. The students who earned spots in the UIL All-region band were Heidi Sanders for flute, Anna Ramirez for clarinet, Benjamin Turner for tenor saxophone, Andre Powell for trumpet, Tevor Wolf for trombone, Matt Seago for bass trombone, Michael Moorehead for baritone and Kyle Simpson on tuba. Matt Seago and Benjamin Turner earned first chair over all other students in their sections and will compete at the area competition for honors to go to the state competition.
Chris Burke has been the band director since 2006, which is also the first year the high school band made it to competition under his direction. He has seen the band program grow and hopes to continue the winning trend.
"As the program continues to grow in the future, I hope the band continues to carry a spirit of family and community within itself," he said. "Since I have been here, the band has found ways of making the work they put in fun, and I enjoy that positive energy. I hope to keep introducing new things to the band each year to keep things fresh, and keep pushing the band to their potential so they are constantly growing."