Gilpin’s middle and high school musicians shine in varied program

Original ceramic creations inspire

by Patty Unruh

Gilpin County sixth through ninth-grade students presented an ambitious and variety-laden musical offering last Thursday evening, May 16, in the Gilpin School auditorium. It was one of the best programs the growing music department has offered in a number of years.

Music teacher Randi Ebers greeted the guests and announced a new, exciting fundraiser coming this summer – a 4th of July Barn Dance from 1:00-9:00 p.m. at the Gilpin County Fairgrounds. The program will feature groups such as The Railsplitters, Ragged Union, and members of Trout Steak Revival. Arts and crafts, food booths, a kids’ tent, and fire engine rides will round out the days’ entertainment. 100 percent of profits go to the Gilpin County School music programs. Tickets will go on sale May 21 at

The middle school band opened the program not with tones from the brass and winds but with rhythmic clapping and stomping on “Rock Talk.” The young musicians literally turned their bodies into percussion instruments, and Ebers assured the audience the coordination of hands and feet was harder than it looked.

Small string and wind ensembles were featured on the Muppets’ “Rainbow Connection,” the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Hedwig’s Theme” from the Harry Potter films. “Beetle Bop,” originally for saxophone quartet, had been arranged for sax, clarinet, and two trumpets, with improvised backup on drums.

The entire band performed a tribute to military march king John Philip Sousa in “Sousa Sounds,” saluted the Old West with “Magnificent Seven,” acknowledged the Baroque era with Purcell’s “Trumpet Voluntary,” and finished strong with “G Force.”

Intermission provided an opportunity for patrons to visit the art tables in the atrium. Art teacher Curt Halsted explained that his students had crafted a diversity of animal pots, hand-thrown bowls, lidded vases made either by hand or on the potter’s wheel, and animals shown metamorphosing into other creatures.

“You come to an art show to be inspired,” Halsted said. “It’s beautiful, and it makes you think. Good job, everyone!”

He pointed out that the pottery had received first, second, or third place ribbons or honorable mentions and said the art could be left at school and displayed at the summer art show if the students desired.

The new show choir got the second half off to an upbeat start with “Riptide,” followed by One Republic’s “Counting Stars.” A stage backdrop of exploding fireworks added to the effect as the seven-member group dispatched their tunes with energy and enthusiasm. Ebers said any student was welcome to join and added that most of the harmonies were arranged by the singers themselves.

The main choir belted out Pink’s rock anthem, “Get the Party Started,” then took a journey back in time with the medley “Back to the Fifties.” Parents, grandparents, and singers alike grooved to “Jailhouse Rock,” “Peppermint Twist,” “Da Do Ron Ron,” “Rock Around the Clock,” and others from the classic age of rock ‘n roll.

The ensemble celebrated 100 years of Disney magic with “Musical World of Disney,” a montage of favorites from “Beauty and the Beast,” “Mary Poppins,” “Cinderella,” “Pocahontas,” “Aladdin,” “Tarzan,” and other films. Several students were highlighted in solos.

The program ended with the feel-good “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.” The audience loved the performance and gave the choir a long, well-deserved round of applause.

Band members: Adalyn Ball, Sara Bellinsky, Austin Ebers, Cheyanne Fejarang, Jordanna Gagnon, Zach Gebhart, Esmee Halsted, Emma Hardy, Jordan Hobson-Kroll, Lynda Icenogle, Madeline Lane, Joseph Lintner, Caleb Murphy, Killian O’Brien, Katelyne O’Sullivan, Sterling O’Sullivan, Raygann Roark, Aucklynn Sacco, McKenna Summers, Theadosia Vaughan-Tomlinson, Cheyenne Weger, Ben Zeckser, and Aiden Zeilbeck.

Choir members: Aaliyah Amaya-Beard, Hailey Anderson, Alison Antill, Adalyn Ball, Alexa Brandon, Jadin Braning, Brianna Crawford, Rayna Durnen, Sierra Harris, Lynda Icenogle, Cadence Lautrup, Luc Logsdon, Emma Mahoney, Kaylie Murphy, Killian O’Brien, Sterling O’Sullivan, Abigail Parton, Taylor Patrick, Brianna Rice-Dietz, Remington Rich, Samantha Rust, Aucklynn Sacco, William Siegrist, Dannika Sternlicht, Maximus Tanner, Michael Walby, and Eliza Westbrook.

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