Averett Band Pop Concert Makes Great Start to Week Before Thanksgiving


Evan Phillips, Staff Writer

On Friday November 22 at 7:00 pm the Averett band will be holding a pop concert in Pritchett Auditorium. It will include a lot of popular music that is different from traditional music people think a university band would play.

“The first half is going to be movie and TV music. We are going to do music from the movies: “The Greatest Showman,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” and TV shows like “Game of Thrones” and “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood,” and there is a little piece that was featured in the Civil War series on public television, but it is really written as a farewell end of a summer music camp,” Janet Phillips, assistant professor of music and Averett band director, said. “The second half is music from a number of African American legendary musicians. Only one of them is still living and that is Stevie Wonder. We are going to have Micheal Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Duke Ellington.”

Some of the music has important meanings behind it. The main point of the concert is enjoyment and to maybe hear some favorite songs in a different way, but there are some messages in it as well.

“For the African American legend half, I wanted to honor the memory of Aretha Franklin because she died last year, so I started looking for pieces with her music in them and that led me down a rabbit hole,” Phillips said. “In the fall I like for the band to do a popular music concert because it introduces new students or students new to our concerts to sort of what we do in a comfortable or easy way. You are hearing music that you probably already know, but perhaps in a different format than you have heard. You are hearing them played by a band which is a different medium than you would normally experience that music.”

A lot of work and preparation is also involved in creating this concert, from Phillips and each and every one of the band members.

“I chose all the music last spring. Ordered it, got it all copied, and sorted out into the parts it needed to be for the ensemble over the summer and then we started practicing the week that classes started. So we have been working on this all semester,” Phillips said. “This week we also have to add Christmas music and we only get to rehearse once a week for two hours, so everything the band accomplishes is pretty miraculous considering the very small amount of rehearsal time that we get together.”

A lot was put into this concert and Phillips encourages anyone interested to go.

“Well they should go because it’s fun. The music is very fun, they will be supporting and hearing their colleagues their fellow students. They will be supporting and hearing their faculty. They will be seeing some of the faculty in ways they never have before,” Phillips said. “Band is my most favorite part of my job and I love having the opportunity to show off the work that our group has been doing, so I hope lots of people will be there to check it out.”