A quiet shuffling of feet and soft chatter filled the Jenkins auditorium, followed by the mellow notes of a piano; it was the night of the Malden High School’s annual band concert. Seats had been filled as the clock struck seven and the lights in the auditorium dimmed. First up were the opening acts, complete with renditions of modern songs such as Alicia Key’s “If I Ain’t Got You.” Aside from the presence of mentor John Natelli, the performances were all student-driven. That being said, the quality of the performances rose well above simply “student-driven” as they were executed on par with professional expertise.
The performances took a nostalgic turn as a tribute to The Beatles was initiated, with versions of songs including the famous “Hey Jude.” Each song was followed by a roar of applause, as spectators clearly enjoyed the trip down memory lane. At times the crowd even joined in on the performance by rhythmically clapping along in usual Malden style. As the final notes faded into the air, small introductions in between performances usually gave way to laughter as Natelli broke the already thin ice. In a change of tone and style, Malden High School’s famous jazz group followed the throwbacks.
The mellow tones of jazz were suddenly broken at times by the occasional guitar or drum solo, which often filled the crowd with energy and were followed with roaring applause. The final performance that would close the show that night would be Malden High’s very own Golden Tornado Concert Band. As the curtains were pulled away, the Band was unveiled. Before the performance, Natelli took the time to honor the leaving seniors calling them “a wonderful group of kids.” With nicknames like “The Mellow Master” and “Future Congresswoman,” the powerful bond shared within the Golden Tornado Concert Band was clearly expressed that night. With percussion and wind instruments gleaming in the limelight, the band began and finished its performance.
This year’s concert was no easy task to put together, as the transition to a new mentor and instructor proved to be an interesting task for the band to say the least. Even with all the troubles the band faced this year, mentor John Natelli was more than pleased with how everything came together. “I’ve been teaching for eight years, and I think this show meant more than anything else,” explains Natelli, as this year has proven to be both an emotional and difficult ride. He explained that this year has been “challenging” because of the sudden introduction of a new instructor. “You have these kids who are used to a certain style of teaching, and they have to acclimate to your teaching just as you have to acclimate to them.” These challenges however, are what made this year so important to Natelli as he believes “those challenges make for a better learning experience” both for himself and for the band as a whole. Natelli is “absolutely”looking forward to his next years at Malden High School, and is prepared for whatever new obstacles may come the band’s way.