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SEB performs Spring Concert
SEB concert
Southeast Bulloch High School band director Matt Olsen speaks to the audience during the school's annual Spring Concert. - photo by ROGER ALLEN/special
    The Southeast Bulloch High School band performed their Spring Concert recently and for eight graduating seniors, it was the final formal performances of their high school careers. Near-capacity audiences were in attendance each night of the concert at the high school auditorium.
    Seniors Morgan Driggers, Corrie Hicks, Sara Howell, Anna Ludlum, Kim Riner, Michaela Dickerson, Tea Bilbeti  and Alan Weather are all leaving after a highly successful senior year.
    Band directors Matt Olsen at the high school and Joey Mitchell at the middle school said they collaborated throughout the year on the band’s marching and concert components.
    “Joey and I spent six weeks listening to endless recordings before we chose the selections for (the Spring) concert,” Olsen said.
    Entitled “The Impossible Machine,” the concert featured six pieces – “The Impossible Machine,” by Erik Morales; “Among the Clouds,” by Brian Balmages; “Contraption,” by Brendan McBrien; “Galileo’s Vision,” by Ralph Ford; “Currents,” by Robert Smith; and “Thunderscape,” also by Erik Morales.
    As Mitchell introduced each piece, he tied the work to a specific inventor, telling the audience what that inventor had done, including Edison, Ford, Franklin, Galileo, and Tesla.
    Georgia Southern University senior Brandon Respress directed the first piece, “The Impossible Machine.” He worked with SEB band students over the last several months as part of his “Senior Seminar.” Respress said the next step for him will be a student teaching assignment in Houston County.
Olsen said he was pleased with the performances.
    “I tried to establish a three way balance: to see that, first, the kids would enjoy the music that they were playing; secondly, to ensure that the audience would enjoy what they were hearing; and finally, to make sure that the entire band would be an integral part of the evening’s music.”
    Keri Coursey, who is principal at West Chatham Middle School in Pooler, was there to support niece Laura Owen, said about the performance:
    “The music selection was great, and I really appreciated the historical narrative between pieces. It put it all in the proper context for me.”
Olsen’s mother, Mary, said, “Matt never pulls anything from the bottom shelf. These are college-level pieces. He lives to constantly challenge his students.”