Meridian Middle School preforms at Busch Stadium
April 11, 2017
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On April 6, 2017, Meridian’s middle school band and choir performed at Busch Stadium before the St. Louis Cardinal’s game against the Chicago Cubs.
Originally the game was scheduled for Wednesday, April 5, but due to rain and storm warnings, the game (and therefore the concert) were canceled on short notice. “I’ve had to deal with adversity enough over my career that the cancellation didn’t rattle me too much,” says band director Mr. Hicks, “I just stayed calm, because I knew I was going to get a lot of questions from people on how the situation would be handled.”
Many parents and relatives took the day off work to see their kids play live, and only found out about the cancellation when they had already reached St. Louis. But Hicks handled the situation well. “I immediately told the students to text or call their families and friends about the cancellation, and to stand by for details on how it would be remedied.”
Even though many suspected the band wouldn’t play at the rescheduled game the next day, within an hour Mr. Pygott, the middle school principal, had informed Hicks that the band and choir would be allowed to return the following day to complete the performance. “It was a quick turnaround that made our band and choir students very happy,” says Hicks.
The performance was a success. The 22 choir students started off Meridian’s performance at the Riverside Corner, singing “You Can’t Stop The Beat,” from Hairspray, and “We Go Together,” from Grease.
The choir started rehearsing about two weeks ago after the Area Choral Festival. “It was fun working with them! They caught on quickly to the songs and welcomed the idea of putting some choreography into it. They even helped with new ideas when we needed to change some movements,” explains choir teacher Ms. Dowd, ”I thought they performed well for not rehearsing since Tuesday. Of course, singing outside is different than singing in our classroom or auditorium, so we do need to practice on projecting our voices outside.”
Afterwards, the band, consisting of 53 students in seventh and eighth grade, performed “Land of 1000 Dances,” “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Seven Nation Army,” “Tequila,” “My House,” and “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” and earned a lot of applause from the audience.
“Working with the middle school band is always wonderful,” adds Hicks. According to Hicks the most difficult part of rehearsing for the show was that on Tuesday, April 4, they attended a concert band music festival, where the band performed five concert pieces. Then, the very next day they had to be ready to perform a whole other set of music at Busch Stadium.
“I have never done two completely different performances with one group in my career. It took a special group like this one to accomplish so much!”
This was Hick’s sixth time preparing a group to play for a Cardinals game. “I have developed a great relationship with the Cardinals organization over the years (even though I’m a Cubs fan!). I hope to continue this tradition for years to come.”