Woodward High School Band students will perform their annual Christmas concert Thursday at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Roughly 100 junior high and high school students will play a variety of holiday selections showcasing a progressive level of difficulty. Selections include a range of traditional favorites and contemporary pieces.

“The junior high band, we focus more on just playing together,” said Derek Adams, band director for Woodward Middle School and High School. Adams said the high school selections would be more complex with several parts and harder rhythms to master.

“You have to think for yourself a lot more,” said Adams.

“It helps us in a way. It prepares us in a different way than other subjects,” said senior band student Sarah Baker. “It just helps us to think of things differently.”

Band students have had a successful semester thus far with several students placing well in state and school band competitions. Of the roughly 40 students who participate in the Woodward High School’s band program, two were among the top 25 students in the state at All State Band. Another placed fifth in the Honor Band at Red Carpet tryouts.

Students are looking forward to the Christmas concert as a culmination to their successes, endeavors and learning objectives this past semester.

“You’re working really hard for that one time when you get to kind of show off what you’ve done,” said Laura Matthews, a senior band student.

As high school seniors, both Baker and Matthews know the hard work it takes to be successful in the band program and recognize the importance of a fine arts education curriculum.

“You have to be so much more responsible for yourself. There’s so much extra stuff you have to do. It helps you mature,” Matthews said. “When I tried out for Honor Band, I had to work extra on songs outside of class to practice.”

“It helps us in performing in front of others. It helps us get over the nerve of doing it,” said Baker.

Students participated in Main Street’s Christmas parade and the Superintendent’s radio program showcasing selections from the Christmas program. Students will also donate homemade items for a silent auction the night of their Christmas concert. Proceeds from the auction will go to sponsor a band trip to Florida in April.

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