Outdoor Band Concert under the Springtime Stars

Outdoor Band Concert under the Springtime Stars

Centreville High presents ‘Bandemonium!’ plus food trucks.

Band Director Melissa Hall conducts the young musicians outdoors.
Photo Courtesy of Melissa Hall

Band Director Melissa Hall conducts the young musicians outdoors. Photo Courtesy of Melissa Hall

The only thing cooler than an outdoor music festival under the stars is one that also features face painting, dancing and food trucks. And that’s exactly what Centreville High will offer during the Wildcat Band’s third annual “Bandemonium!” set for Friday, May 17, at 6:30 p.m., in the school’s bus loop.

The school’s Winterguard, Chamber Ensembles, JazzCats, Percussion Ensemble, Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble plan to dazzle the audience with a variety of entertaining music. Meanwhile, food trucks El Jefe Wood Fired Pizza, Little Lady Grill, Two Smooth Dudes, Kona Ice and Adam’s Delights Ice Cream will be onsite for guests to purchase food to enjoy while the musicians are performing.

“Last year’s ‘Bandemonium’ was an even bigger success than our inaugural year, with over 700 audience members in attendance,” said Director Melissa Hall. “It is such a joy to have created a new tradition at Centreville High, and it’s always so well-received by our surrounding community. The students and I are excited to bring it back, bigger and better this year – the third time’s the charm.”

The event promises to have something for all ages to like. Attendees will have the option to get their faces painted, get henna tattoos and even dance to some swinging jazz tunes. And a new highlight this year will be the bands playing the soundtracks to the blockbuster “Harry Potter” movies, plus “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Star Wars,” while clips from them are shown. 

“Bandemonium” brings together all members of the school’s Performing Arts Department, as it spotlights band, orchestra, choir and theater students in performance. In addition, students in Centreville’s Art Club will be doing the face painting.

Some 500 folding chairs will be available for guests to sit in, but people are also encouraged to bring their own picnic blankets and camping chairs. As with previous years’ events, the performers will entertain on two stages. In case of rain, the concert will be moved indoors into the Skip Maiden Auditorium.

Regarding the food, El Jefe will offer its signature pizzas while Little Lady Grill serves up sandwiches and other grilled delicacies. Two Smooth Dudes will feature a variety of gourmet tater tots, as well as wraps, salads and pineapple smoothies. And besides the ice cream and shaved ice from Adam’s Delights and Kona Ice, respectively, also for sale will be sheet cakes celebrating the students who make up the Centreville Wildcat Band program and especially its graduating seniors.

As for the music, it’s sure to have everyone tapping their feet. 

Centreville’s Jazz Ensemble, the JazzCats, will perform tunes illustrating the theme, “ColorFULL.” Music from several jazz genres – including swing, funk, rock and Latin – will be featured. Three vocal selections, “Blue Moon,” “Orange Colored Sky” and “Rio de Janeiro Blue,” will highlight student vocalists from the Centreville Choral Department. And this year, Centreville Orchestra students will also perform with the Jazz Band.

Besides playing selections from the “Harry Potter” movies, the Concert Band will offer a piece by composer Jorge Vargas called “Golondrina.” According to Hall, “This charming work is inspired by the joropo llanero – a South American musical style and dance that originated in Venezuela. While this style is present throughout the piece, you can also hear Mexican and Spanish influences in it, as well.” And for anyone wondering what a gallop would sound like with the chaos that ensues when a dog sees a squirrel, this band will conclude the night with “Squirrel Chase” by Carol Brittin Chambers.

Music from “How to Train Your Dragon” will begin the Symphonic Band’s portion of the show, followed by “Tumbleweed” by Tyler Arcari. “As you can tell by the title, this robust piece evokes the thrilling sounds of the American Southwest,” explained Hall. “Its rousing themes revive the glory days of the American cowboy and all the trials and tribulations of living in this rustic, but unforgiving, frontier. You’ll hear music that paints a sophisticated musical tapestry using all the color available to the modern concert band.”

This band will conclude with “The Country Club Stomp” by JaRod Hall. (No relation to the director). “Experience a New Orleans vibe with this exciting, parade-inspired crowd-pleaser,” said Melissa Hall. “The lively work is based on an infectious, rhythmic groove and spirited melody. Elements of jazz, as well as a strong reference to the West African circle dances from which this music evolved, make it an exciting closer.”

Centreville’s Wind Ensemble will open its set with Brian Balmages’s “The Wild One!” which Hall describes as “a blistering, adrenaline-packed, circus march that will bring the audience to its feet.” She said band members are also excited to perform a medley from episodes 1-3 of “Star Wars.” 

Next, they’ll take everyone on a fun-filled trip down memory lane with the songs, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Singing in the Rain” and “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” Said Hall: “From bold and dramatic to toe-tapping and upbeat, these timeless film classics define all that is loved about the silver screen and the beloved movies of Tinseltown.” This band will then end the night with its traditional, end-of-year performance of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa. 

“As always, this is a free, family-friendly event that we hope will bring in many guests from the Centreville community,” said Hall. “Come celebrate another tremendous year of in-person music-making, along with the Centreville High Wildcat Band family.”