Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

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Rockin’ the 80s at Hingham’s All- Town Band Concert

Nearly Four Hundred Band Students in Grades 5-12 took us “Back to the 80’s” for this year’s All-Town Band Concert. Photo Credit: HMPA

On Wednesday, nearly four hundred band students in grades 5-12 and their friends and family packed into the HHS Gymnasium for the annual All-Town band concert. This year’s theme was “Back to the 80s.” Some students chose to dress in 80s bright neon colors, while others opted for the usual black and white concert attire. All-Town is designed with the younger students in mind, with each ensemble sitting in a section of the gym rather than on a stage. Fine Arts Director, Joann Bellis shared with the 5th graders, “This night is for you. This night is for us to welcome you into our community.”

The All-Town Band concert is designed to demonstrate the progression from the elementary level, where students can only play somewhat simple notes and rhythms on select instruments, to high school, where students are adept at playing more complex melodies and rhythms that display a very high level of musicianship.   

Both high school ensembles, Concert Band and Wind Ensemble, jointly opened the concert with a medley of Prince’s hits, including “1999,” “Purple Rain,” and “Let’s Go Crazy.” The entire standing-room only audience set the mood by clapping along, and the elementary and middle school students followed suit.  After the opening piece, the concert continued with 5th grade students and progressed grade by grade. While the audience grooved to many well-loved 80s tunes, especially “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang, it was evident that each grade sounded a little more polished and confident than the previous grade.  “It’s amazing to be a part of this,” said junior Connor Anderson, whose family was fortunate enough to have 3 students performing in the concert.

By design, the All-Town Band concert takes place during the course selection period. Throughout the concert, both student speakers and teachers shared anecdotes encouraging continued participation in band, particularly addressing the 5th and 6th grade students, who up to this point, have been required to take a music class.

Stella Huleatt, a senior and first chair trumpet of HHS’s most advanced ensemble, Wind Ensemble, spoke to students and parents about the impact that band has had on her years in Hingham. She expressed, “Picture for a minute, walking into school on the first day of every year knowing that one class will always be the same, familiar and full of supportive friends: band.” Her eloquently written speech has already resulted in many students previously considering quitting band to re-enroll for next year.

Brian Cincotta, the 7-12th Band Director who was dressed in a purple Prince-like suit jacket, shared a heartfelt message toward the end of the evening. “What happens in the band classroom is magic.  It’s about coming together and taking chaos and turning it into music.” He further shared his belief that “If someone tells you that you can’t be a scholar and an athlete and musician, they are lying to you. We have the proof right here. In band, no one loses, no one is on the bench, and everyone is a winner.”

As if the epic night couldn’t get any better, the concert’s finale featured all four hundred band students collectively playing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.” The sheer force of four hundred instruments playing at the same time was a spectacle on its own, and combined with the dancing audience members, it was a strong reminder that music and community paired together are truly magical.

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