I'll be home for Christmas
By Robin Scott
The Dalhart High School Band opened their portion of the Dalhart schools holiday concert on Sunday, December 13th with “I’ll be Home for Christmas.” The song, which was first recorded by Bing Crosby in 1943, and numerous artists since, reflects a spirit of Christmas and the longing for family and friends, even if occurring only in dreams. The band performed the song splendidly, which created a reminiscent mood of days gone by.
The mood was quickly transformed to cheery with a piece that incorporated many holiday and Christmas favorites. An unexpected highlight of the high school band’s performance was an interruption by first chair saxophonist Jarrett Hand. Hand, backed by many giggling band members, presented a stick pony and Santa hat to Rick Ball, band director, along with a gift to be opened later. The brief presentation allowed the students to recognize Ball’s personality and love for music, which they achieved admirably.
Also performing during the Sunday afternoon concert were the junior high school band and the 6th grade band. The performance by the 6th graders was their first ever, and showcased the many skills they have learned since band began for them in August. Ball chatted with the audience and explained each skill that the students demonstrated, and noted, “The sounds you will hear belong to your children.” The 6th grade band’s efforts were well received and rewarded with enthusiastic applause. Ball was correct, the sounds that had in the beginning of the year caused the hair on the back of the neck to stand on end had transformed into unity and purpose.
The junior high school students also delighted the audience with Christmas tunes under the direction of the associate director Mr. Gregory. Ball announced the 21 junior high students who qualified for the Five States Band and the 22 junior high students who qualified for the All-Region Band, asking all of them to stand for a quick bow.
The high school band members also practiced and competed for the Five States and All-Region Bands, with 16 high school students qualifying for the Five States Band and 17 high school students qualifying for the All-Region Band. Particularly amazing was one young eighth grade flute player, Lea Baumert, who qualified for the All-Region High School Band. Her flute playing counterparts were seniors, so her accomplishment is truly amazing. Miss Baumert found herself a little too shy for a second bow, but her achievement was still recognized by the cheering crowd.
Hearing the sweet sounds of musical instruments played by the youth of Dalhart certainly put the Christmas Season into full
swing. The only thing left to transform the area into a winter wonderland is “snow and mistletoe,” and “presents on the tree.” If a loved one or two is far away and it’s a long road back for them, keep dreaming, and perhaps they will be home for Christmas too.