WDMCS Band and Orchestra Concerts Celebrate the Season

Detail Performing Arts CenterThree seasonal concerts from West Des Moines Community Schools ensembles herald the beginning of the winter season. The concerts will feature seasonal and popular pieces, as well as band and orchestra favorites. All concerts are free and open to the public. All but the Stilwell concert will be held in the Staplin Performing Arts Center at Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines

The Stilwell Junior High orchestra and the junior high chamber orchestra will perform their Winter Concert at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 8, in the Stilwell auditorium. Stilwell’s orchestra is the largest in the school’s history, with 108 members. The orchestra will perform “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from “The Nutcracker Suite” and several popular tunes, including “Stand by Me,” originally performed by Ben E. King. The chamber orchestra, a select group of students from Stilwell and Indian Hills junior high schools, will perform “Allegretto” from “The Creatures of Prometheus” by Ludwig van Beethoven and “Viva Violas!” by Richard Meyer, which will highlight the viola section.

All West Des Moines Community Schools students can begin studying orchestral music as early as fourth grade. All students have the opportunity to participate in small group and large group lessons, with advanced groups becoming available in sixth grade. Students are taught using an adapted Suzuki method that encourages active engagement between students, parents and teachers. The district’s high school orchestra programs consistently receive superior ratings at regional contests and have performed nationally and internationally.

The Indian Hills Junior High seventh- and eighth-grade bands will present their Winter Concert at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 8. Musical selections include patriotic pieces like “Americans We” by Henry Fillmore and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The bands will also perform season pieces including “Jingle Bell Rock” and Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.” Audience members will have the chance to donate to West Des Moines families in need at the concert.

The Valley High School Concert Ensemble and Symphony Band will join with the Valley Southwoods Band for the Winter Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10. Musical selections include “Lux Aurumque” by Eric Whitacre, “Nobles of the Mystic Shrine” by John Philip Sousa and “Celtic Carol” by Robert W. Smith. The concert will also feature percussion ensembles from the Valley High School bands.