A regional premiere of music will be performed by the Spring Grove School Junior High Band on Monday, Dec. 11 at the Spring Grove School band concert.

Spring Grove Schools was part of a consortium of 47 schools that commissioned a suite of songs that are part of a symphony by Randall Standridge.

Spring Grove School instrumental music director, Willy Leafblad, saw a post online inviting schools to be a part of the consortium.

He was intrigued and emailed Standridge for more information. Leafblad received a response the same day.

“It is really neat being a part of something like this,” Leafblad remarked. “A lot of famous classical songs are by composers that are long gone; having a contemporary composer who wrote the music within the last few months is exciting.

“I showed a video in class from the composer explaining the story behind the pieces – this is a great opportunity for students to be able to hear from the one who created the music they are playing; I think it makes quite an impact on them.”

The Darklands Symphony consists of five movements. Standridge had previously written the first and fifth movement and had fully intended to write the remaining pieces, but his writing schedule had kept him busy, and he had not yet completed the middle three pieces, the suite.

“One day, I came across a quote that really spoke to me. It said, ‘If the opportunity does not exist, create it.’ With this in mind, I offered a commission consortium on social media and was delighted to find many willing schools to help fund this project,” explained Standridge.

The Darkland Legends suite that came out of this commission contains three movements, “Dance of the Mad Prince,” “The Serpent Priest and the Black Bell” and “The Queen’s Masque.”

The suite explores three of the central characters who are essential to the story of the imaginary, magical place called The Darklands.

There is a magical forest, a castle that comes alive, an army of black snakes and more – a complete story painted through music.

The Junior High Band will be playing four of the five movements of the symphony with student soloists interspersed throughout. The junior high band will also play another selection by Standridge, “Skygazer Fanfare.”

All bands perform at concert

This is the first band concert of the school year for all of the students.

The evening will also include the fifth and sixth grade elementary band playing two pieces. “Mojo” by Rob Grice is a spunky piece of music. “Olympic Dreams” by Robert E. Foster depicts the majesty, pageantry, and glory of the Olympic games.

The jazz bands – junior high and senior high – each meet just once a week before school for 45 minutes.

The Junior High Jazz Band will perform an arrangement of the pop song “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay and “Blues Machine” by Michael Sweeney.

The Senior High Jazz Band will play a tune in traditional 32-bar swing form named after one of the most famous streets in the Big Apple, Forty-Second Street!

This will be followed by a funk chart that is likely to boost the audience’s holiday spirit -- “Whoa Christmas Tree! (How Funky Are Thy Branches?”).

A newly formed group, Jazz Combo, will make their debut at the concert. This five member group will play the jazz standard “Watermelon Man” by Herbie Hancock.

The concert will conclude with the Spring Grove Senior High Band playing, “Three Ayres From Gloucester,” a staple piece of music for concert band.

Filled with holiday spirit, a cheerful arrangement of “Good King Wenceslas” by Tom Wallace will follow.

The concert will conclude with a medley of Olympic music, “The Olympics: A Centennial Celebration” arranged by John Moss, in anticipation of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Concert-goers will also be able to purchase homemade holiday treats before and after the concert. Proceeds from the goodies will go toward both the instrumental and choral music programs at the school.

The Band Concert begins at 7 p.m. in the gymnatorium at Spring Grove School on Dec. 11.

The Spring Grove School Choir Concert is the following Monday, December 18 at 7 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church.