Polk County Middle School band students present spring concert, fundraiser dinner May 19

Published 11:07 am Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Polk County Middle School eighth-grade band rehearses for the spring concert, to be held Thursday, May 19 at the middle school. (photo submitted)

N.C. composer wrote song to be performed

The band students of Polk County Middle School will perform their spring concert and hold a fundraiser dinner on Thursday, May 19 at the Polk County Middle School auditorium and cafeteria. Performing that night will be the Polk County Middle School jazz band, the sixth-grade concert band and the combined seventh- and eighth-grade bands.

Sam Murray, seventh-grade tuba player. (photo submitted)

Jill Bennett, middle school band director in Polk County since 2003, said, “This concert is an extra special event, because this night is our fundraiser dinner and all the students get to show off their talents at the concert. Also, the seventh and eighth grade band students have a special piece to perform that was commissioned for these students by a North Carolina composer, Mr. Ed. Kiefer.”

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Kiefer and Bennett have known each other since 1997, when he worked with her college band at Mars Hill. Since then, Bennett said Kiefer has been a mentor to her.

“This will be a world premiere of this piece on May 19, meaning no other band has ever played this piece before,” said Bennett, “This piece was written with my students in mind by a gentleman who knows this band well.”

Ed Kiefer graduated from Wake Forest University with honors in 1976, and received his master’s in music education in 1990 from the University of Greensboro. He served as the director of bands at East Davidson High School in Thomasville, N.C., for 28 years before retiring and taking the position of director of instrumental music at Pfeiffer University in the spring of 2004. He retired from Pfeiffer in 2009 and is presently composing, adjudicating and teaching clinics for concert, jazz and marching bands. He lives in Thomasville, N.C.

Kiefer said, “The band programs of Polk County at both the middle school and at the high school (under direction of Cindy Gilbert) have become well known state-wide for their quality programs, due in no small part to the great work of their directors. I was really excited when Jill asked me to compose a piece for her students at the middle school. I am looking forward to the premiere at their concert on May 19.”

Kiefer will be in attendance for the world premiere of his piece called, “An Irish Legend.” “An Irish Legend” will be published in the near future by Carl Fischer or C. Alan Publishing for other bands around the country to purchase and perform.

Polk County Middle School bands have received numerous superior ratings at Music Performance Adjudication and Festival of Music at Carowinds. over the past several years.

Hank Utz, principal at Polk County Middle School, said, “I always look forward to the band’s performance every year. Their concerts are wonderful and it is nice to hear and watch these talented students perform.”

Before the concert, the band will hold a fundraiser dinner. Food and drinks will be provided by Jose Rivera with Wood Fired Pizza and Paul Dale with Foothills Mountain Barbeque. There will be barbeque, hot dogs and pizza. The dinner begins at 5:30 and ends at 7:15 p.m. The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for the meal must be purchased by Monday, May 16. Tickets can be purchased through a Polk County Middle School band student, at the Polk County Middle School office or by calling Polk County Middle School at 828-894-2215. This is a pre-order event and tickets will be held at the door for all who order. Desserts will be available for purchase from the middle school chorus that night as well.

– article submitted by Jill Bennett

The Polk County Middle School seventh-grade band rehearses for the spring concert. (photo submitted)