The Southmoreland band is known for its traditions. Traditions like the annual small ensembles concert and the annual marching band trip have stuck with Southmoreland for many years. However, a new tradition is beginning for Southmoreland’s band, the alumni concert, held Dec. 16.
Under the name “Home for the Holidays,” the concert was to honor Southmoreland’s current alumni and future alumni. The concert was open to all former marching band staff and former students who participated in the school’s band as well as a handful of juniors and seniors.
Early in the day, Mrs. Gore and the Southmoreland band hosted a banquet for the returning alumni and their guests.
“We had over 300 guests and the capacity of our cafeteria is 150,” concert band director said Mrs. Jamie Gore.
Past years’ band pictures were brought from the school’s attic and restored to be displayed at the banquet as well as having a table for old band scrapbooks.
The first tune performed by Southmoreland’s first ever alumni band was the school’s fight song “Scotland the Brave & The Highland Fling” followed by Southmoreland’s alma mater, both conducted by band director and Southmoreland alumni Mrs. Jamie Gore.
“We are so honored to have 109 people on this stage today,” said Mrs. Gore in her introductory speech.
Mrs. Gore then had each decade of graduates stand for a moment to show the many decades of musicians beginning with graduates from the 2010’s and ending with the graduates of the 1960’s.
She then introduced the first concert band piece of the night, “Ukrainian Bell Carol,” conducted by former marching band staff member Mr. Bob Springer, followed by Mr. Jim Henigen conducting “Sussex Mummers.”
“Sussex is a very beautiful tune, it captivates the emotions of the season,” said Mr. Henigen introducing the piece.
The next tune of the evening was conducted by marching band director Mr. Shawn Harris, “Charlie Brown Christmas.”
Mrs. Gore then introduced the family of George “Grandpap” Rath, an influential figure in Southmoreland’s band history.
“He’s someone near and dear to the hearts of many of these people on stage,” said Mrs. Gore. His family proceeded to donate Rath’s jacket, which is what he wore to every band event.
After this touching moment the concert closed with the alumni band’s performance of “Whisper to Their Souls,” a piece written in memory of a deceased mall Santa from Pittsburgh, conducted by Mr. Jude Gore, and “Christmas Festival” conducted by Mrs. Jamie Gore.
Mr. George Rath’s jacket as it is donated to the Southmoreland band.