DHS musicians celebrate season | RecordCourier.com

DHS musicians celebrate season

Trent Carruthers

Douglas High School musicians brought the sounds of the season to a standing-room-only crowd in the school’s commons during the “Sing Joy” annual Holiday Concert on Dec. 16.

The Nightingales opened the joyous concert, followed by Concert Band, Image and Jazz Cats. The event concluded with the Madrigal Singers followed by a holiday sing along effort by all the groups and audience.

Each talented group received a thunderous ovation after its presentation from an appreciative audience of more than 500 people.

But the biggest round of applause of the evening came after all the performers had left the stage. That’s when band director Bill Zabelsky saved the best for the encore when he announced that the Fighting Tiger Band will participate in President George W. Bush’s second inauguration in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20.

“We are the official band of President George Bush,” said Zabelsky over the continuous cheers from band members and audience. “This will be a trip of a lifetime for these kids.”

Zabelsky had kept the inauguration invitation a secret after learning about it earlier in the day. The band also went to the president’s first inaugural in 2001. He estimates that the band needs to raise $100,000 in the next few weeks to defray expenses.

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Before Zabelsky’s “big announcement” the large audience was treated to a 90-minute assortment of traditional and modern holiday music.

“This Holiday Concert is an opportunity for the students to display spirit and show off what they have learned to parents and the community,” said Zabelsky, who has been involved in the annual event for the past 20 years.

The band director called the audience turnout “excellent” and praised the students for “helping me look good.”

Along with piano accompanist Milus Scruggs, the Nightingales sang a four-song medley that included “The Heart and Soul of Hanukkah,” “Santa’s going on a Diet,” “Little Star,” and “Merry Christmas to Me!.”

Then with Santa Claus as guest conductor and drum major Katie Anderson as director, the concert band turned in a stirring performance of “Do Your Hear What I Hear,” “Hanukkah Holiday,” “Santa Meets Sousa,” and “Our Director.”

Image next took the stage led by flute players Scheryll Cudney, Desiree Davis and Bethany White during the lively performance of “Jazz Jingle.” Image followed with “It’s Christmas and all that Jazz,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Rockin’ in Bethlehem.” Scruggs provided piano accompaniment.

The Jazz Cats instrumentals brought the audience to their feet with “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Jingle Bells,” The Christmas Song,” “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “Holly Jolly Christmas.”

Soloist Christianne Davis gave a wonderful rendition of “The Christmas Song.”

The Madrigal Singers wrapped up the concert with “Here We Come A Wassailing,” Carol of the Bells,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” “Silver Bells,” and Shout the News!”

The jazz band and Madrigal Singers also have their CDs of holiday music on sale. To purchase a $6 CD or two for $10, contact Allison Mainslay at 267-3774.

Anyone wishing to donate for the band’s trip to Washington can send donations to Douglas High School, P.O. Box 1888, Minden, NV, 89423, or contact band director Bill Zabelsky at 782-5136, ext. 1102.

n Trent Carruthers can be reached by e-mail at

tcarruthers@recordcourier.com or by phone at 782-5121, ext. 210.