All band, all music

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief
Photos by: Jennifer McGowen, staff photographer

honor band

The Mt. Vernon High School band added another award to their long list of accomplishments. The band has earned the “All-Music Award” for their accomplishments this year. The last time the band earned this honor was in 2013, and before then the band had only won it three times.

In order to earn the award, the band must earn a gold at a state marching competition, a gold in a jazz festival, a gold at a concert band festival, and must have one ensemble and one soloist earn a gold at the state final level. The Mt. Vernon band met, and exceeded in some cases, all these requirements, with more than 30 students earning gold medals at the state solo and ensemble finalist.

Students at Mt. Vernon were obviously astounded upon hearing this news.

“It’s super cool that they are able to do that,” said Stephen Shilling, 12. “We have a talented band program here at MV.”

The Mt. Vernon band will participate in all the required events next year, making them eligible to receive the award again in 2017.

Spring Sing

Story by: Allison Yoder, staff writer
Photos by: Lauren Pilkington, staff photographer

spring sing

Spring is an extremely significant time for all school goers, since school is just about out. This is especially true for seniors. The end of their high school career can be stressful, exciting, but also sad. This is why the Mt. Vernon High School choir holds an event each year called Spring Sing.

This year Spring Sing will be held on Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21 at seven p.m. in the auditorium.

Each year, there is a different theme. The seniors chose this year’s theme, which is entitled, “Out with a Bang.”

“Spring sing is going to be fun. I’m excited since it’s two days, and we’ll all get to sing together. The rehearsals are a lot, but I can’t wait, since we get to sing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’” said Braydon Titley, 10.

The students put in a lot of work for this production, so it is a very big deal to them.

Underclassmen seem upset for the tearful goodbyes, but are still ready to have one last hurrah before the time comes to move up into other choirs and move on.

Maddie Mull, 9, said, ”Spring Sing is like a wrap up of the year, and saying goodbye to the seniors can be tough, but is fun welcoming the new year.”

spring sing 2The upperclassmen, on the other hand, are looking forward to this event. They are hoping to go onto bigger and better things, but are still eager to have fun doing what they love with peers they love just one last time.

“Spring Sing is a really fun concert, but it also means a lot, especially to us seniors because we have a fairly large role since it’s our very last high school concert,” Katelyn Schuck, 12, explained. “It also means a lot looking back and knowing we made a difference in choir and school, no matter how major or minor.”

This goes to show how much high school can impact a student. Of course, the academic piece of schooling is important, but the social aspect is very impactful as well. Seeing these students tearfully bid farewell to their best friends can be an obstacle, but this event helps.

The chance to have a blast while singing and dancing with their choir pals makes a great memory for these students of all grades, and can making leaving even the smallest bit easier.

Everyone at Mt. Vernon can experience this final performance. Tickets are $5 a person or $20 for a family.

 

Band hits a golden chord

Story by: Carly McWilliams, staff writer
Photos by: Jennifer McGowen, staff photography

Band pic 1.jpg

The Mt. Vernon High School band traveled to Pendleton Heights High School for the ISSMA Senior High School Organizational Festival on April 22, 2016.

ISSMA, the Indiana State School Music Association, has been hosting competitions and festivals for school bands, orchestras, choirs, and ensembles since 1981.

The band performed three pieces, “High School Cadets,” “Variations on a Korean Folk Song,” and “Heaven’s Light.” Band members were also required to perform a sight reading of a piece of music they had never practiced before. Overall, they received a gold rating for both their performance and sight reading.

“I think we have worked hard as an ensemble and our hard work paid off,” said Emma Flick, 10.

There are still opportunities to see the Mt. Vernon Band perform: they will be playing at the Extravaganza concert, held on May 13th and 14th at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. The concert also features the jazz band, 8th grade band, and a steel pan ensemble.

band pic 2.jpg

Zayn is zaney

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief

 

In March of 2016, Zayn Malik released his new album entitled “Mind of Mine.” This is the first album he has released since his departure from the popular boy band One Direction.

The album has a primarily R&B and pop vibe. However, I believe that this style draws heavily from his previous band, as the pop influences that were present in One Direction also show up in his newest album. His attempt to set himself apart lies heavily in the lyrics, which have proven to be more meaningful than in his past band, in my opinion.

One of my personal favorites on the track is “fOol fOr YoU,” which has a simple, melodic vibe. Malik’s use of piano at the beginning compliments the rest of the song’s melancholic lyric base.

Some students have similarly positive opinions of the new album.

“As a whole, I liked the album,” said Geneva Pleasant, 11. “But I thought that the song ‘Mind of Mind’ was supposed to have an R&B sound, but it ended up being pretty pop-based.”

Others did not like the album.

“I really didn’t like it,” said Leanza Valenti, 12. “I honestly thought it sounded too much like One Direction.”

In any case, songs from Malik’s album have reached the top of the charts and have received mixed reviews from fans of One Direction.

“Hello” Adele

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief
Photo by: Mackenzie Carpenter, Photo Editor

Adele CD

Adele Adkins has taken the stage once again with her new album, “25.” The album is the first after a four-year sabbatical that the star took in order to raise her son, Angelo Konecki. It has enjoyed record sales, surpassing the record for most first-week sales of any song, although this may also be due to the fact that music is now widely available for download on the Internet. Adele’s prowess has yet to heed as her album was at the top of many charts in the end of 2015.

The album is beautiful, featuring many heartfelt songs as one would expect from Adele.  From the popular “Hello” to “Remedy,” the album features slow songs with powerful vocals and telling messages. Adele opened her heart in “Remedy,” which was the first song she wrote that ended her period of writer’s block, according to Adele.

“I really enjoyed ‘When We Were Young,” said Mary Decker, 12. “Adele’s voice was so powerful and soulfull.”

My personal favorite of the album was “When We Were Young.” Adele crafted this song with a certain subtlety, yet the lyrics spoke volumes, conjuring images and sentiments of nostalgia from prior relationships.  Her soulful voice lulls the listener with beautiful lyrical phrases that cannot be ignored in Adele’s lyric-centered work. Her backup singers provided support during appropriate times in the song, pulling it together and making it seem complete. It is the kind of song where you just sit and soak in the music, listening silently, without a care in the world.

I cannot pick out a major negative point for the album. As a whole, it was a very soulful work, and I could feel Adele’s personality and experiences shining through the work and her carefully crafted lyrics. The album is near perfection, and I would award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

5SoS

Story by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor
Photos by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor

Baylie's 5SoS 1On August 22 the band 5 Seconds of Summer paid a visit to Klipsch Music Center, and I had the privilege of being able to attend such a fun and entertaining concert.

The concert began after the less-than-impressive opening act, Hey Violet. While I was dissatisfied with the opening act, having mediocre vocals and lyrics, the rest of the concert was stellar.

5 Seconds of Summer opened with their song “End Up Here.” I thought the song was a great choice to open their performance, it was very fun and upbeat and I was impressed.

Baylie's 5SoS 2This concert had the best atmosphere,  there was not only chemistry between the band members, but also between the band and the crowd. It was clear that the band loved being on stage and they were glad to be there performing. They also thanked the crowd multiple times for having them and I thought it was pretty neat that they were so grateful to have been performing for us.

The most impressive part of the concert, by far, was their performance of the song “Wrapped Around Your Finger.” The vocals of Michael Clifford, guitarist, were spectacular and sounded as if he were recorded in a professional studio. The song was also just awe inspiring  and the emotion put into it was astounding.

The only part about the concert I was not pleased with was their decision not to sing “If You Don’t Know,” a fan favorite. The setlist was pretty good, but there were definitely some songs I wish would have been there that were not. Some of them include the first song of theirs I ever listened to, “Heartbreak Girl,” which was replaced by their new single “She’s Kinda Hot.”  I was also sad to find that their song “Never Be,” which is my favorite of all of the 5 Seconds of Summer songs, was missing.

When I can walk out of a concert and hear a large group of complete strangers singing one of the band’s songs together, I know it was a good concert.

 

Tying the knot on the Slipknot tour

Story and Photos by: Halee Evans, staff photographer

slipknot

Metal heads and rockers of the like flocked to Klipsch Music Center on August 14 for a night of partying and music.

With a lineup that could kill and a total of three bands, Slipknot’s “Summer’s Last Stand” tour ended with a bang. Their last concert for the tour was on September 25 in Dallas, Texas.

Also playing at the concert were Bullet For My Valentine and Lamb of God.

Bullet For My Valentine was the first band to perform, and they had the crowd pumped. People were screaming along with the lyrics and mosh-pits were a common occurrence.

Lamb of God was a little less impressive. Their set seemed to be the perfect time to get a snack or talk to the people walking around.

“The line up was perfect, two good bands sandwiched in between a bathroom break. Lamb of God was the bathroom break by the way,” said Alex Jeschke, 11.

There were a lot of very friendly people at the concert or in the crowd. Everyone talked with each other, mostly about music and previous concerts. The most interesting people to talk to there where the people who were veteran concert goers. The whole event was one big party, with lots of rules and safety precautions of course.

After the snacks were had and everyone was ready to rock again, the main event started.

Slipknot killed their performance and had the crowd out of their seats and jumping.

As always, Slipknot made a huge production with their stage decorations. With their signature masks and flaming drum set, every eye was on stage and every mouth was singing along.

This is my second time seeing Slipknot live and I would recommend seeing them any chance you get. Their music may be a little aggressive for some, but they put on a show like no other.

Playing a total of ten songs, including the three encore songs, Slipknot had the crowd in the palm of their hands. With the mosh-pits at an all time high and the volume all the way up, I could not have been more in my element. The concert was one of the best I had ever been to.

By the end of the night everyone was dripping with sweat and and reeked of a good time. This was one concert that if you didn’t lose your voice and you mind by the end, than you were doing something wrong.

One Direction sells out Lucas Oil

Story by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor
Photos by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor

one direction crowd

The lights go out, the music blasts and screams erupt. Everyone is in a frenzy in an attempt to see as much as they can, and the tears run. The concert has begun.

On July 31st, One Direction took Indianapolis by storm in a way no one could have expected.

I attended the concert, and after seeing this band for the third time, I  can say that I am always more than impressed by their talent and ability to entertain.

The show opened up with a song off their most recent album, Four, called “Clouds.” It was upbeat and the perfect way to get the crowd pumped up. One would expect the performance to be less impressive seeing as they just lost their fifth band member, Zayn Malik, but they did not fail to absolutely knock everyone’s’ socks completely off.

“I don’t even like the band and they impressed me,” said Sydney Shurman, 12.

By far the best part of the concert was when they performed their new single, “Drag Me Down,”  live for the first time. The song has a catchy beat, and to say that the vocals of these four beyond talented young men are impressive would be an insulting understatement. This song will be featured on their new album, which is yet to be named.

The concert was a great experience and I recommend seeing One one direction concertDirection live. They were entertaining and it was obvious that they genuinely wanted to be doing what they were doing. They even thanked the crowd multiple times just for being there.

I left the concert that night with one of feeling like I had had the time of my life. Seeing them again in the future is definitely something I am looking forward to.

Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson rocked our state’s capital and I am grateful that I was able to experience it.

Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong.

Story by: Kailee Isham, staff writer
Listening to For King & Country’s new album, it is easy to see why the album won a Grammy at this year’s ceremony. The album boasts songs that utilize several styles of music and an array of different electronic and conventional instruments, such as cellos, synthesizers, and snare drums.

One song, “Without You,” is a bittersweet love song that employs an intricate piano part to convey the feeling of the song, whereas “Fix My Eyes,” is an upbeat song about living to the fullest, and features drums and violins.

“Shoulders” is a sad but hopeful song about God making up for one’s shortcomings, and is one of my personal favorites on the album.

“This is Love” is a song about someone realizing that the feelings they have for another, and making a promise to be strong and faithful. It takes advantage of a strong beat and a simple, but beautiful, piano part.

The album “RUN WILD. LIVE FREE. LOVE STRONG,” cannot be pegged into just one category. The one feature each song has in common is that, while not each song is explicitly Christian, each song is uplifting and free from all forms of vulgarity.This album has earned its place on my playlist.