Gering City Band concludes concert season

Cori Taedter watches for Randy Raines' cue during the concert.

In lieu of an actual concert, the Gering band program put together a virtual concert to celebrate the past year of work. The concert featured the Freshman Concert Band, 10-12 High School Concert Band and the High School Jazz Band.

Director Ben Veilleux commissioned the help of University of Nebraska-Kearney student Andrew Bond to render the songs the students performed.

“I found Andrew through a mutual band director friend of mine,” Veilleux said. “She had posted a video he put together, and I immediately reached out to him for our virtual band selections.”

Prior to this project, Bond has been learning how to edit videos for seven years. While he has lots of experience with video editing, he had only produced two virtual songs.

“I still had a lot of streaming and tricks to learn and discover,” Bond said.

The first song he prepared took roughly six hours, while the other videos took around three to four hours to complete.

The biggest challenge was getting the songs to sound good, as the recordings each student submitted were all different.

“The recordings themselves were so drastically different in terms of volume that balancing the audio across so many sources proved to be quite difficult,” Bond said.

Despite the issues, Bond was able to overcome and create something that made him proud.

“Each video had their own problems, for sure, but with the time put in and the resources I had, I’m proud to put my name and logo on each one of those songs,” Bond said.

Going into it, Veilleux was nervous about doing a virtual concert.

“There are so many variables with a live performance, and with technology, there are different things to account for also,” Veilleux said.

Nonetheless, he was proud of how the final product turned out.

“I think the final product was well received and was great,” Veilleux said. “The students had so much to handle during this quarter, and I’m so glad some were able to contribute to this project.”

Throughout the video, Veilleux included highlights from the year and honored the students who were letter winners. The Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, the John Philip Sousa Award and the Gering Music Booster’s Scholarship were announced as well. Senior Alethia Henderson was the recipient of the John Philip Sousa Award and senior Adam Flowers was the recipient of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, Sousa Award and Gering Music Booster’s Scholarship.

Senior Emily Merritt was disappointed to find out that she would not be able to perform in her final high school band concert.

“I felt completely defeated and crushed,” Merritt said. “We had been preparing for the concert for so long and it seemed like one thing after another was getting canceled.”

After finding out a virtual concert would take place, she was definitely on the fence about the final result, but she was very happy that there was something.

“It’s going to be something that I can look back on later down the road,” Merritt said.

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