HJHS musicians turn brass* into solid gold *and woodwinds and percussion
They came, they played, they conquered.
The Helper Junior High Jazz and Concert bands dominated the competition at this years Music in the Park Festival at Northridge High School in Kaysville. Playing before adjudicators from Weber State and Brigham Young University, the school brought home five team honors. The Seventh Grade Concert Band took first place in the Middle School Division. They also took first place in the Combined Middle School and Junior High Division. The Jazz Band took first place in the Junior High Division. The Eighth and Ninth Grade Concert Band took second place in the Junior High Division and the school's overall scores gave them the event's overall first place honor.
The school also had several students win top honors for their solo performances at the large competition.
During the day long competition, Helper competed against schools from Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Wyoming and Idaho. According to Helper Band Instructor Adam Cunningham, the small Castle Country junior high school was able to achieve these honors while competing against much larger schools, some of which focus on music and band.
"We have had a great year," said Cunningham via a telephone interview on Tuesday. "I love the program and so do the kids."
Students start with Jazz or Concert band as the school year begins. From there, Cunningham starts teaching the fundamentals of playing and of playing together. Throughout the year, the students are given multiple opportunities to perform for an audience. From concerts, to Christmas-time playing for the area's assisted living facilities, the students work on their technique and skills to prepare for the competition.
After playing at Northridge, those participating in the competition head to Lagoon to enjoy the park and attend the awards ceremony that night.
"I always start the school year by letting our students know just how much fun being a part of the band can be," said Cunningham. "I tell them about the hard work and dedication that is required but I also tell them about the fun. Because of that a great many kids usually join the band."
The Helper Junior High Jazz Band is Tristan Armstrong, Raychel Briseno, Tiffany Coon, Elley Cowdell, Zackary Dickerson, Indie Gardner, Gray Taden, Howard Ceaira, Daniel Hyer, Cayden Jensen, Harold Johnson, Mason Rogers, Jasmine Santi, Canden Stockdale, Alisa Tallerico and Jordan West.
The school's Eighth and Ninth Grade Concert Band consists of the above mentioned students as well as Cenjia Collins, Jaylee Cox, Austin Crowther, Katrina Edwards, Darion Flores, Ryan Gagon, Jayden Goodall, Marissa Ivie, Idalis Jaramillo, Ian Johnson, Darren Kulow, Grace Orosco, Rachel Otto, Brayden Reiners, Abby Robertson, Jadon Robertson, Tristan Smith, Holden Sorenson, Mason Sorenson, Dakota Spigarelli, Dallen Tweddell, Cherish Vigil and Tayle Wilkinson. The Helper Junior High Seventh Grade Concert Band is Rayden Andrews, Noah Armstrong, Micheal Campbell, Annamaria Cartwright, Elley Cowdell, Christopher Dunn, Carter Fausett, Alexsandria Flores, Anthony Flores, Skylar Harper, Bryce Hocanson, Shannon Ivie, Michael Jeffs, Jacob Jewkes, Patrick Kardelis, Aubrey Kirkwood, Abagail Maddox, Daryn Mason, Patrick McKinney, Antonio Mecham, Harlie Melo, Ashley Moncada, Amie Morgan, Crystal Nef, Kiefer Pierce, Joshua Rasmussen, Derik Riley, Jade Shepherd, Shaubre Stockdale, Michael Tallerico, Lily Vigil, Hunter Wooden, Lakota Wooden and Tyler Yoklavich.