All Conference Band

Isaac Rantala, Reporter

This year’s NWHA Senior High All-Conference Band took place on Tuesday, November 5th. There were four high school students selected from South Shore to participate. The students were Jacob Nollet, a sophomore trumpet player, and three freshmen: Izzy Rantala (trumpet), Leevi Tapani (tenor saxophone), and Lily Truchon (alto saxophone). The performance took place at Northwestern High School. The students were given the music for the performance about two weeks beforehand. They were to learn the music before the day of the performance, and then put it all together at Northwestern during the day. 

Approximately 60 students from seven different schools (South Shore, Washburn, Northwestern, Mellen, Ashland, Drummond, and Solon Springs) came together at Northwestern to put the parts together for the performance. They spent just over five hours rehearsing all of the songs. The students ate lunch at Northwestern and had intermittent breaks throughout the day. The guest conductor this year was Christine Hulmer, a director of music at Northland College. She helped the students put the parts together, and conducted the band.

There were four songs that the band performed. The first song was “Liberty Fleet,” a patriotic-type song with an upbeat feel. The second was “Endless Rainbows,” a sad and wistful song with a great story behind it. The composer of the song was contacted to write a piece for Jeff Zilke, who was a teacher. However, one of Jeff’s students died the day before he was to start the eighth grade. His name was Ben Stepp. Although the event was very tragic, something special happened on the day of the funeral. A double rainbow formed over the pond where Ben had passed away. The only time there were rainbows in that area was when the sun had risen and it was raining. On this day, however, the sun had not yet risen and there was no visible rain. The family told the story to the composer and he chose the name “Endless Rainbows” for the piece. 

The third song the band performed was “Eighties Flashback.” This piece included five songs from the eighties: “Thriller,” “Up Where We Belong,” “Time After Time,” “Eye of the Tiger,” and “You Give Love a Bad Name.” The band had a fun time playing this piece, some dancing in their seats. The last song the band performed was “America the Beautiful,” a song that should be familiar to everyone. The performance went very well, and the students all had a lot of fun participating.