On Saturday, November 15, DCPS students played in an All-City Concert Band concert at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center—the first time in over 20 years. The two bands (high school and middle school) gathered the finest student musicians on stage for one night. The two bands played a wide variety of music, from pop to Korean folk songs. Calvin Marcus, music teacher at Kelly Miller MS, directed the middle school band, and Christopher Alberts, music teacher at School Without Walls HS, directed the high school band. Check out the performances!
Here’s a firsthand account from a School Without Walls flutist, Nathan Ausubel!
On November 15th, the DC Public Schools All-City Band performed on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. The event was unique in that it brought together musicians from middle school and high school students from across the city. Band directors selected which students would play in the bands, so it featured some of the strongest musicians in DCPS. The band did not feature string instruments, but instead it was reserved for woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. The performance lasted for around forty minutes, and it featured an eclectic range of pieces that included marches, classical music, and show tunes.
Personally, I found the performance at the Kennedy Center to be a very rewarding experience. It allowed me to meet musically-talented students from other DCPS high schools and to perform at a well-known concert hall for the first time in my life. Playing in the band was a serious time commitment, since we had to attend five 2 to 3 hour rehearsals before playing at the Kennedy Center, all in the span of three weeks. However, I am proud that we were able to play a wide range of pieces, including traditional marches such as “National Emblem” as well as lesser known tunes such as “The Sinfonians.” This year was the first year that DCPS has assembled an all-city band in over twenty years, but in a short span of time we were still able to prepare a great performance. The band is expected to play again next year, so I recommend that any DCPS students interested in joining talk to their band directors.