A local middle school band got a chance to perform a piece of music that that very few others have had the chance to experience.

Howell’s Parker Middle School 8th grade band had the unique opportunity to perform a commissioned arrangement at their winter concert last week. The song “Gradients” was composed by Grammy nominated music educator, conductor, and composer Andrew Perkins. Perkins, who holds a specialist certificate in Orchestration from the Berklee College of Music and Masters of Music degree from the University of Michigan, said he was honored to work with the students and their band director, Jeff Stimson. In his 18 years as a teacher, this is the first time his students have had the chance to play a commissioned arrangement.

The 8th grade band was one of 9 ensembles from across the county to commission Gradients. Consorting like that allows more schools and bands to be involved by dividing the commissioning cost of the song. (MK)