Winter Concert at Glenwood Springs Middle School |

Winter Concert at Glenwood Springs Middle School

The Glenwood Springs Middle School band presented a winter-season concert for a standing-room-only crowd of more than 300 people on Dec. 14 at the Glenwood Springs Middle School.

Band teacher Tim Watt and student director Connor O’Meara directed the 130-member band.

At the beginning of the show, Watt cautioned the audience that at this point in most middle school bands, if you can recognize the song, it’s a good thing.

But the GSMS band more than exceeded that notion, adding a little spunk to some Christmas favorites as well as showing off a few nuances and distinctions in a recital that presented a mix of international and multicultural holiday songs.

Watt has taught music for 27 years, and O’Meara is a senior at Glenwood Springs High School who, at 17, is lauded as the best alto saxophonist in the state.

“It’s his legacy to be here with the kids,” said Watt as he introduced O’Meara who treated the audience to a jazzy version of “Silent Night.”

“I want to leave something there for them to work for,” O’Meara said.

That may seem like a tall order, but according to Watt, his students are up to it. “They play with guts,” he said.

The sixth-graders are learning note reading, while the seventh- and eighth-graders are learning music theory and performance, so the public concert was an important culmination of that knowledge including the joint effort of playing together.

“Kids at that age hate to make mistakes, but they just go for it. We’ve got them showing off positively.”

“It’s a lot of fun having Mr. Watt,” said eighth-grader Toni Gottschalck.

Watt knows how to have fun outside of work, too. He owns five guitars and plays in a rock band with four other musicians in a Wednesday night gig. “Fun, that’s what I preach,” said Watt. “But the music comes first.”

Watt plans to build the music program and would love to take the students to state finals someday, but was proud of the band’s performance. “Every moment is a proud moment. I call it the magic of music,” he said.

“It was a pretty good team effort for both of us. It really goes back to having a great bunch of kids. They just worked hard.”

Eighth-grader Katie Faris opened the program with a short monologue and thanked the audience for coming and allowing the band to share their talents.

“This is our gift to you and here it is,” she said.

From left, sixth-grade flutists Katie Gowen, 11, Allison Brown, 11, Shawnee Scott, 11, and Caitlyn Petts, 12.

From left, seventh-graders Allie Rippy, 12, who plays the flute; saxophonist Clay Hawkins, 13; and trumpeters Kevin Carlson, 13, and Wyatt Israel, 13.

From left, sixth-grade flutists Rachel Gacnik, 11, Lauren Matheson, 11, Amy Currier, 11, and Peyton Heitzman, 11

From left, sixth-graders Myles Martinez, 11, who plays the trombone; and drummers Geoffrey Moore, 12, Billy Steele, 12, and Corey Gray, 11.

From left, eighth-graders Katie Faris, 14, a flutist; percussionist Amber Kight, 13; and flutists Katie Waller, 13, and Leah Hubbard, 14.

From left, eighth-graders Ronni Granato, 13, Elli McKinley, 13, and Sydney Schachter, 13, who play the clarinet; and flutist Toni Gottschalck, 13.

From left, eighth-graders Aaron Cousineau, 14, who plays the baritone; trumpeter Sam Kaup, 13; French hornist Dan Sprick, 14; and trombonist Kurt Hartmann, 13.

From left, sixth-graders Thomas Owen, 12, George Calix, 11, and Lee Jensen, 11, who play the trumpet; and trombonist Riley Heald, 11.

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