ASHLAND The Boyd County High School Band and Choir’s Christmas concert, scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Paramount Arts Center, will be full of good memories and happy surprises.

Band Director John Johnson said his arrangement of the hymn “I Need Thee Every Hour” will pay tribute to former principal Dan Imes, who died last summer. A Boyd County High School graduate, Imes was a band director before serving in school administration.

“He and I and other music staff became very close and it was very nice having him as a boss,” Johnson said. “It was intimidating, too, because he knew if it was good or not.”

The arrangement of the hymn features trumpet, which was the instrument Imes played, and a trumpet professor from Morehead State University will have the solo; 15 antiphonal, or offstage, trumpets also will be heard. After retirement, Imes became the student teacher supervisor at the music department of MSU.

Choir Director Aaron Bowling said he worked for Imes for about a year, and that Imes hired him.

“Dan was awesome. He had this unique sense of humor and was always supportive,” Bowling said. “He knew the music department pretty well, but he always let us have the freedom to do things how we needed to do them and let us teach the way we knew to teach and were taught to teach. I was always appreciative of that.”

Bowling said the choir is planning to present a program of various genres, including a West African piece that’s beloved by the students.

“It’s not based on Christmas, but we learned it and the kids really liked it, so they wanted a chance to share it,” he said.

The work called “Glow” is winter-themed, he said, by Eric Whitacre, one of the choir’s favorite composers. They also will perform “That’s Christmas” by the a cappella group Pentatonix.

Also during the concert, Superintendent Bill Boblett will be presented with the Kentucky Music Educators Association District 8 Administrator of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Johnson said the concert contains many surprises, including a piece dedicated to the Ashland Animal Rescue Fund.

“If people don’t come to this concert, they’re going to be disappointed,” Johnson said. “If you’ve ever attended a high school band concert before, you’ve never attended one like this.”

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