On May 11th, 2023, the Malden High School Band held their Spring Concert in the Jenkins Auditorium. The concert was open to the public, and the auditorium was filled with a decent amount of concertgoers, friends of the performers, teachers, and other figures. It lasted for around an hour, and there were seven different groups performing on stage during that time. The concert was well-received by the general public, and it went off without a hitch.
Performing before the main groupings were the small ensembles, and student-organized bands that played one song each. The three groups that went first were The Cardboard Band, which led off the concert, followed by the Doppelgängers and The Yard Sale. The first group was the only one to have a vocal component, but technical difficulties partially obscured the voice from the audience.
Following those smaller groups was the main component. The concert band took the stage, performing two pieces of music under the supervision of Lauren Foley, the instrumental music teacher at Malden High School, and the conductor of the band. After those two pieces was an interlude, as another small ensemble took the stage to play their single piece.
With the exit of the concert group, the wind ensemble took the stage. The wind ensemble, holding all the senior leaders, played a total of three pieces, the most of any single group that night. In addition, there was a brief period towards the end of their performance where Foley let off of conducting, and instead, the senior leaders got up and conducted their own band. Three seniors conducted the band, swapping out with one another after 30 seconds to a minute of conducting.
In addition, a small ceremony took place during the senior section, thanking all the departing seniors for their service to the MHS Band and wishing them well as they head off into the world. All the departing seniors were given roses.
The event seemed to go over well both with the general public and the performers themselves. Ryan Li, manning the tuba, thought that the concert was a massive success. “They worked for this day, practicing almost every day…they made sure what they played and their instruments sounded phenomenal for that day.”
Steven Leung, a student leader and one of the composers, was surprised by the turnout and reaction. “I always think audience turnout would be next to nothing but as soon as I heard the crowd applause after Small Ensemble’s first song I knew we had a good turnout…I thought it turned out quite well.”
Foley mentioned that the preparations for this concert were quite immense. In preparation for the concert, the band had been practicing since January on their music, as well as balancing the responsibilities of other concerts during that time. However, in recognition of that, Foley also thought that all groups did very well, including the small ensembles. Foley commended the senior concert group, saying that, “they pick things up so quickly; it’s a great opportunity to be able to work on such challenging music with them.”
The spectacle of the student conductor was also something a little special. Leung shared a little of how difficult it was to properly nail his part. “I had been assigned the fastest part of Excerpts from the Firebird, so I had difficulty keeping up a consistent beat. I’d be practicing my proper hand movements whenever I could: in class, during commute, at home - basically anytime I had my hands free.” However, Leung was able to pull it off, and he was fine after it was over. “There is a sense of satisfaction in being the one in charge, even for a little while.”
The spring concert was the last major concert that the Malden High School Band will be performing in this academic year. This concert, pulled off flawlessly, probably served as the high point of the MHS band career of multiple seniors. Both Foley and Li believe that the MHS band will be able to pull off a concert of similar caliber next year, with Foley being optimistic about the number of new students joining band.
“I got an estimate for my concert band class next year at 26 students compared to the 16 I currently have,” said Foley. Li holds faith in Foley’s first-year experience to help the band make something even better. All three - Foley, Li, and Leung, are confident in the future of the band.
The video of the concert will be released in the MHS 2023 yearbook, as a QR code.