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Merry Melodies: Band students to perform

Come next Monday night, some local youngsters will be bringing the sounds of the season to Greenville High School Auditorium. A bevy of band and choir members from lower middle school through high school, are slated to make “Merry Melodies” as part of the Community Holiday Band Concert. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec.14.

Ten-year-old Dedrick Owens and Jewel Windham, fifth graders at Greenville Middle School, are looking forward to sharing their fledgling musical talents at the concert. As beginning band students under Chris Pryor, the two will be performing festive tunes like “Jingle Bells” and “Up on the Housetop” on the xylophone.

“I’ve liked music ever since I was a little kid. My mom got me a drum set and a keyboard,” Owens said.

“That’s why I wanted to play in the band.”

Windham was inspired to join beginning band because of an older sister who was a band member. “I thought it was fun and I wanted to do the same thing,” she said.

“I think it will also help me with my musical education.”

Windham hopes to also learn how to play either the piano or guitar, while Owens has his eyes on performing on the saxophone.

Windham says her favorite part of band is the chance to perform and show off her musical skills in concert.

“I feel like being in band helps you a lot with your music,” she said with a shy smile.

Owens likes the fact band students “get to learn a lot of music and take field trips that help you learn more.”

Both students say they hope to move up the ladder to the high school band one day. The GMS Band Program serves as a feeder program to GHS.

GMS band parent Rose LeCoq says she believes the community will not only enjoy the music, they will also be impressed with how far some of the beginning students have come since first taking up instruments in August.

“I am sure they will also enjoy numbers by Mr. Pryor’s Jazz and Advanced band students, too,” she said.

Other tunes on the GMS band radar are “Rudolph,” “Frosty,” a Hanukkah song and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” The Jazz Band is slated to perform “Inside Out,” “Birdland” and “Born to Be Wild.”

Greenville High School band director Chris McMillan will lead his students in performances of classics like “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and “Candlelight Carol” and a Christmas medley, among others.

And GHS choral director Millie McDonald’s students will sing Christmas tunes such as “O Holy Night,” “I Heard the Bells,” and Let There Be Peace on Earth.” Students in the Piano Lab will tickle the ivories with “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

LeCoq says the school system is fortunate to have three “truly gifted teachers” who share so much of their time and talents with the students.

And the fruits of their labors can be enjoyed for the cost of a canned good as admission.

“We are collecting food items for Joseph Ministry, which helps needy families in our community this Christmas,” Pryor explained.

For more information on the Community Holiday Concert, contact GHS at 382-2608.