Vestal Bands Perform Spring Concert


Keith Dai, Music Columnist

Tuesday, May 10th was the Vestal Band Spring Concert, performed by Vestal’s band ensembles, the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band. 


The Wind Ensemble performed 4 pieces:

  1. Variations on a Korean Folk Song by John Barnes Chance.
  2. Amazing Grace by Frank Tichelli
  3. Marche Slave by Peter Tchaikovsky, arr. L.P. Laurendeau
  4. Selections from The Music Man by Meredith Wilson, arr. Philip J. Lang


A brief intermission occurred between the 3rd and the 4th piece to recognize and celebrate our senior band members! There were also awards that were given to the seniors based on their musicianship and dedication.

John Philip Sousa Award: Ashley Mihalko

Louis Armstrong Jazz Award: Sophie Coker

Vestal Band Directors Award: Lorena Iosub


This is a list of all graduating seniors (alphabetical by last name) off to continue their amazing journey in college and beyond!

  • Faith Carty, flute, New York University to study business
  • Sophie Coker, trumpet, University of Albany to study political science
  • Allen Domingo, clarinet, Binghamton University to study computer science
  • Lorena Iosub, clarinet, SUNY Broome to study meteorology
  • Seth Jayasena, clarinet, Binghamton University to study computer science
  • Nicole Limer, flute, SUNY Brockport to study computer science
  • Ashley Milhalko, french horn, University of Vermont to study animal science and pre-veterinary courses
  • Emmaline Milkovich, trombone, SUNY Fredonia to study illustration
  • Mackenzie Parks, flute, SUNY Broome to study to become a nurse
  • Giuseppe Piccirilli, percussion, Binghamton University to study political science
  • Bowen Zhao, clarinet, University of Buffalo to study computer science


The seniors also gave Miss Crissman a pleasant surprise to thank and appreciate her first year teaching at the high school and all the work in organizing the music and being there for us all in the hard times. 


After the Wind Ensemble finished, the stage was cleared for the Concert Band, playing 5 pieces, listed in the following order:

  1. Novena by James Swearigen
  2. Mambo Cubano by James Swearingen 
  3. Irish Folk Suite by Frank Erickson
  4. Abracadabra by Frank Ticheli
  5. The Maelstrom by Robert W. Smith (ASCAP)


As a participant in the concert, I was able to get some pre-concert thoughts from our fellow band members. 


“We’ve worked a lot on our pieces and it’s really exciting to show the audience what we’ve been working on,” exclaimed Jia Parikh, a Concert Band clarinetist. 

“I was excited to be with my friends,” commented Keira DeVantier, a Wind Ensemble percussionist.

“[I’m] not [nervous] right now”, said Adi Banerjee, a Concert Band clarinetist. “But once I get on stage, then the nerves set in.”

Sanjana Dwaraka, a Concert Band percussionist, agreed with that statement. Sanjana, who was running a little late, remembered, “I was kind of anxious because I got delayed at home and I was scared I wouldn’t make it [to the concert] in time.”

Others also expressed their anxiety: “[I think I] might mess up on Abracadabra.” responded Molly Collette, a Concert Band clarinetist.

Some tried to combat the nervousness, as Michael Jurga II, a Concert Band percussionist, said, “Before, [it] was a bit nerve-racking but I realized, even if you messed up, the audience wouldn’t notice as long as you stayed in time.”

Not everyone reflected the nervous bundle of energy most people were feeling. Jamie Song, a Concert Band flutist, recalled, “I liked the shirt I borrowed from my mom.”

Orum Pettid, a bassist volunteer from Concert Orchestra, said, “[B]efore… was the normal concert shenanigans.”


Here’s the link to the Spring Concert performed Tuesday night: 


During the concert, our band friends had many thoughts going around their heads while playing. Everyone had all very different responses, mostly pertaining to the music and performance.

Orum recalled, “The band sounded really good, except for the bass part.”

Nolan Huang, a Concert Band French Horn, said, “I… felt kind of calm during the concert. The most stressful part for me was probably in the middle of The Maelstrom, where I literally panicked for some seconds due to thinking that my horn had too much spit in it and wasn’t playing an A flat properly.”

Michael said, “…My head was in the music, I was going crazy with some of the fills but making sure I stayed in time with the rest of the band.”

Sanjana responded, “I was really in shock [and felt] excited because it was, like, our last concert and I was scared I might do something to mess it up—I kind of did during Abracadabra [where I] did the suspended cymbal roll only for two beats cause I was late.” 


Once the concert was over, many people were overjoyed with their accomplishments and ready to go home.

Jamie expressed, “I can’t wait to go home; I’m so tired.”

“AHH, finally! We have been working on those pieces since like December and because we technically finished the first year of almost normal band and for me, my first year of band in high school” said Sanjana.

Michael said gratefully, “I felt accomplishment because of how much I learned throughout the year and realiz[ed] that I applied it well.”