LHS band looks to inspire future Lancers
By APRIL GUILMET
Union Leader Correspondent |
May 09. 2014 8:45PM
Londonderry High School student Connor Stoddard offered a few guitar tips to 6-year-old Leah Doherty during Thursday night's Young People's Concert and Music Fair. The annual program is aimed at encouraging local kids to get involved in the district's music programs. (APRIL GUILMET/Union Leader Correspondent)
LONDONDERRY — The future holds plenty of promise for Londonderry High School’s Lancers band, if attendance at Thursday night’s Young People’s Concert and Music Fair was any indication.
Now in its fifth year, the annual event gives the next generation of Lancers the chance to get personally acquainted with a variety of instruments, chat with high school musicians and staff members and take in a live concert geared towards the town’s youngest music fans.
About 51 members of the school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society participated in this year’s event. Dressed in black, formal attire, the students chatted up hundreds of district children and their parents, even allowing the precarious youngsters the chance to try out a tuba or sample a saxophone.
“Like I always tell my students, you never know who you might inspire,” Music Director Andrew Soucy said Thursday night.
The concert and fair has grown in popularity since its inception in 2010. This year’s event also featured members of the Color Guard, who offered a few onsite pointers to young guests interested in marching, baton twirling and flag-waving.
Following a half-hour exploring period, the guests were seated in the gymnasium bleachers, where they were treated to the sounds of the band in action.
Selections from such kid-friendly films as Walt Disney’s “Aladdin” and “Frozen” were high on the set list, though a more familiar “local character” undoubtedly stole the show.
North Elementary School Principal Mary Coltin, who will retire at the end of the school year after 20 years working in the district, grinned nervously as Soucy handed her the baton.
Though it was her first time conducting the band, Coltin put on a brave face — her efforts gave her a standing ovation.
Soucy noted that Coltin had served as a chaperone over a decade ago, when an earlier generation of Lancers traveled to Pasadena, Calif., for the band’s very first Rose Bowl Parade march.
“It was harder in those days,” the music director noted. “That was before cell phones.”
“In all my years working in the district, I can’t think of a time when Andy hasn’t come to one of our school concerts,” Coltin said, giving her old friend a hug. “So I couldn’t say no.”