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Strike Up the All County Band

Concert this weekend shows-off the talents of middle and high school musicians.

Editor's note: This article was updated at 5:55 p.m.

After being snowed-out last year, county band directors gave a sigh of relief this week as the All County middle and high school bands began rehearsals at Southern High School for their performance Saturday night.

Music students in every middle and high school were allowed to audition in early January for the privilege of participating in the all-county program and received the selected music to practice during the past few weeks. 

Dakota Slay-Vincent, a senior at , is playing percussion in the all county band performance for the first time this year. He also performed with the all county orchestra in December.

"I love to play difficult music, and being able to play difficult music well is icing on top of the cake, so I guess all county gives me that," Slay-Vincent said of being selected to play in the band. "All I can say is that it's an honor. It's always nice for someone else to say you're a decent musician."

They gathered together Thursday night as well as all day Friday and will have another rehearsal Saturday morning to rehearse with guest conductors. The performance will take place at Southern High School Saturday at 7 p.m.

Conductors for this year’s program are Paul Dembowski for the high school band and Andrew Spang for the middle school band.

Dembowski, an Anne Arundel County native, is currently the director of bands at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Prince George’s County. He holds a master of music from James Madison University and has been active as a clinician, judge and guest conductor for marching and concert events throughout the state. He lives in Annapolis with his wife, Lynda, a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Band.

Spang is the director of bands at Folly Quarter Middle School in Howard County. He received a master of music degree from The Boston Conservatory. He is also a professional tuba player and brass educator and has toured or recorded with the Lyric Brass Quintet, the Soulful Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. A published composer and arranger, his works have been performed in Carnegie Hall and Boston’s Symphony Hall.

From a Sousa march to “Butterfly’s Ball,” the musical selections offer every audience member something to enjoy. 

Music coordinator for Anne Arundel County Public Schools Amy Cohn acknowledged the role of parents, family and the community in the success of the student musicians.

“The excellence demonstrated in the rehearsals and performance is testimony to the support and encouragement provided at home,” she said.

The concert is open to the public, with tickets on sale for $5. Proceeds go to the county-wide music programs. The next All County music event will be the All County High School Jazz Band to be held at Meade High School on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.

Glen burnie-Area Students Participating

Middle schools:

  • —Nadine Peake, Joshua Snively.
  • —Kaitlyn Curley.
  • —Morgan Kush, Allison Vincitore.
  • —Alora Young.
  • —Jordan Lucky, Lina Park, Tiffani Royal, Thomas MacAlester.

High schools:

  • —Edward Williams, Abigail Heppner, Morgan Billings, Phillip Billings, .
  • —Raymond Lau.
  • —Kristin Yocum, Adam Heacock.
  • —Gloria Lee, Adam Heacock.

Editor Maya T. Prabhu contributed to this report.

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