Margaret SchedlerSaturday, December 11, 2021
On Thursday night, the music classes at The Altamont School put on a Winter Concert. It was an hour and a half of thrilling composition. The middle-school jazz band played first. Music director Landon Rogan informed the audience that two of the band members were total beginners, and even so, the music produced was impressive. Rogan provided the audience with a look into a usual rehearsal by allowing the students to perform in their sections. By separating the rhythms and the brass, there developed a greater appreciation for the puzzle that is great music.
The next band that took the stage was upper-school jazz band. There was a variety of different “blues” instruments onstage. A few of the musicians put on darkly tinted sunglasses to complete the persona. It encouraged many chuckles from the audience. The standouts from that group is a long list. Bass soloist Charlie Youngson provided a thrumming bass that vibrated the stands. Trumpet soloist Pace Barnard gave multiple incredible solo performances during jazz numbers. As someone who has never really been a classical or jazz fan, Barnard’s playing reintroduced me to the media. I learned later that Barnard was playing with an injured lip, and even with that disadvantage, his bluesy trumpet was memorable. To me and many others, it was clear the potential that he showed. The two drummers, Lucas Newton and Mose Stephens truly led the group. Their talent as drummers shone through during the performance. With the help from Youngson’s bass, the two rhythms complemented each other extraordinarily well. They both looked very comfortable at the drum set and seemed completely absorbed with the music being produced. Alto saxophone soloist Lukas Schedler dazzled the crowd with his whiny solos. With the addition of the sunglasses, he was definitely one of the audience’s favorites. And as someone who lives with him, I can say that he sounds much better on stage than in his room at 8:00 at night. Each musician in the jazz band was phenomenal. They truly proved the talent of Altamont’s music department.
The last group of the night was The Altamont School’s orchestra. There were so many musicians, the stage barely fit all the talent. They played many hauntingly beautiful pieces, but I will admit, I found the jazz numbers to be the most entertaining. The orchestra not only delivered mature and professional music, but they also composed vivid images in the minds of the audience. Their first piece, Cyclone by Michael Oare, brought me back to my childhood watching Disney's Fantasia. Senior Jeffrey Youngson commanded the pieces with his disturbing drumbeats. He guided the music expertly; it is obvious from his performance that he is a very comfortable and experienced musician. Cellist, Braden Hoke was one of the other standouts. His skill at cello was blindingly obvious as he led his fellow string instruments through the pieces. It is hard to point out specific talents from this group, as their combined skill is undeniable. The last musician that really stood out was violinist Dara Jindapon, a fifth-grader playing in a sea of upper-schoolers. The Altamont Orchestra worked very well together and performed with a level or professionalism that shocked even experienced symphony-goers. The Winter Concert was one of Altamont’s successes and I look forward to the Spring Concert. I would encourage any readers to attend as well!