Letter: AHS band succeeds at CHSAA | AspenTimes.com

Letter: AHS band succeeds at CHSAA

AHS band succeeds at CHSAA

Congratulations to the Aspen High School Concert Band and director Steve Heldt!

It probably would be accurate to say that the Aspen High School Band was the smallest band at the CHSAA band competition in Colorado Springs on April 25th. They also had to be the youngest performing group, since there are no seniors in the band. But in spite of those odds, the group earned a 1 (superior) rating in the prepared selections category and another 1 rating in the sight-reading category to become the first Aspen band to earn a superior-rating sweep in school history.

Congratulations to Director Steve Held, as well as the Aspen band students who accomplished this feat. I’ve had the privilege of assisting Steve and helping the students during this school year as part of school-band assistance through Jazz Aspen/Snowmass. Steve started with 10 students in the band two years ago, and already he has superior ratings at the CHSAA contest. I can identify with the excitement of that accomplishment from my own experiences with the Glenwood Springs High School Band at CHSAA and Colorado Bandmaster’s Concert Band competitions in past years. There’s no doubt that the Aspen High School band will continue to excel in a similar manner under the direction of Steve Heldt.

It’s exciting to watch Steve work his magic with the multiple levels of band classes that he teaches at Aspen High School and Aspen Middle School. In a short two years, he has managed to increase class sizes to previously unknown levels and achieve high levels of musicality along with greatly increased public performances.

I salute Steve for bringing instrumental music to the high level that Aspen academics and athletics have become known for over the past several years. Now, more Aspen students have the opportunity to experience the thrill of performing great music at the highest level.

With careful and considerate scheduling by our school administrators, the Aspen school band program has the potential to become one of the best in the state.

Special thanks to Jazz Aspen/Snowmass for contributing to the successful instrumental programs throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. Through our faculty assistance with band programs, public and private schools from Aspen to Glenwood Springs are making significant improvement.

Rob Merritt