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Bronxville High School Musicians to Unveil ‘The Roaring Twenties’ on April 17

By Blaine Malefatto, Syntax

March 13, 2024: The talented members of the Bronxville High School band have been preparing to debut a remarkable piece of music, which was crafted by a professional composer specifically for them.

The students will premiere “The Roaring Twenties” on April 17 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. The experience was made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Bronxville School Foundation.

Entitled “The Roaring Twenties,” the medley of popular jazz tunes from the 1920s pays homage to the school’s rich history, founded in 1922. Crafted by composer Carl Strommen, the unique composition presented a challenge to adapt jazz styling to an ensemble of 40 students.

“Writing a jazz chart for a big band is easy, but to make that transfer to a concert band, is extremely difficult,” band director Uma Karkala said. “Everything is different – tone, balance, phrasing, intonation. It’s a lot of fun but a lot of listening and hard work goes into it making it sound correct. But being able to do this makes it unique and stand out.”

Strommen’s approach to the composition ensures that it showcased the talents of the students and provides an opportunity for concert bands worldwide to experience it by purchasing and playing the piece. Junior Lia Nacey, who has been playing the flute since fourth grade, expressed her pride in being a part of the collaboration. She said it’s an honor to have a composer tailor a piece specifically for her and her classmates who have made a solid commitment to the band program.

“What makes Mr. Strommen’s arrangement so special is that he arranged these songs specifically based on the Bronxville band program’s strong points,” Nacey said. “Our band has a solid flute section and a large brass section this year, so Mr. Strommen wrote the medley to highlight these instruments. It’s like our very own musical signature.”

She described her favorite part of the piece to be “My Melancholy Baby,” which is the ballad in the middle of the medley that stands out as the singular slow, gentle piece, counterbalancing the rest of the piece.

“A lot of the songs in ‘Roaring Twenties’ have a very energetic punch to them, which is something our band can pull off exceptionally well,” Nacey said. “‘My Melancholy Baby’ really shows off our versatility. We can be excited and expressive, but we can also show more reservation and quiet.”



Photo courtesy of the Bronxville Union Free School District


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Bronxville Public Library
Bronxville Public Library

The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.

The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.

The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children. All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.

The Bronxville Public Library
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)

Concordia Conservatory
Concordia Conservatory

Concordia Conservatory, a preeminent center for music education in Westchester County, is a welcoming community where children and adults find lifelong inspiration and joy through learning, performing, listening to, and participating with others in music. Concordia Conservatory, a community outreach division of Concordia College, offers top quality music programs for early childhood, youth, adults and seniors. The Conservatory's vision is to enrich the lives of the people in our community through music.

Executive Director: Kathleen Suss
Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art

171 White Plains Rd
Bronxville, NY

Fine Arts Gallery of Bronxville
Fine Arts Gallery of Bronxville

99B Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

Objects and Images Fine Arts
Objects and Images Fine Arts

117 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

The O'Silas Gallery at Concordia College
The O'Silas Gallery at Concordia College
Part of Concordia College New York, the OSilas Gallery integrates the visual arts into the cultural and educational life of our campus and community by providing quality exhibitions and programs that are diverse in style, content, and media. Our programs are memorable, thought-provoking, and spiritually enriching; and of artistic originality, integrity, and excellence.
Womrath Bookstore
Womrath Bookstore
Womrath Bookshop is a located in the heart of Bronxville village. In addition to selling books, the store also sell children's toys and holds readings both at the store and elsewhere in the community, such as at the Library.

76 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, NY
(914) 337-0199

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