Byram — Byram Schools music programs are going strong and ever growing, and have been ringing in the holiday season with a musical tour de force since November. Students in Byram have a variety of choices when it comes to studying music, and increasing opportunities to participate in these great programs. From concert bands, choirs and regional honors groups, to boomwhackers and guitars, students can pick their level of challenge and take it to the limit.Starting off the season was the Sussex County Junior Honors Band and Choir Concert which took place on November 16 at Franklin Elementary School. Students and their directors from 15 different Sussex County middle schools, came together to form an all-star band and choir. Students participate in individual auditions and are ranked according to ability. Hours of preparation and after school practicing are all in the making of this performance which comes together in the span of three weeks. The result was a jaw dropping performance and an amazing learning opportunity for students and teachers alike. This year’s band performance featured Byram Intermediate’s own band director, Dante Cornella, as guest conductor. “It was truly an honor to work with such motivated and talented young students. What they are able to accomplish is inspirational to musicians of all ages” said Cornella. Next, the Byram Intermediate Choir and Band had their annual performance for the public at Byram Shoprite. The performance started off with Choir singing many festive holiday selections, for droves of parents and shoppers. Afterwards, the Byram Intermediate Concert Band, with the help of many dedicated parents and administrators, transported 50+ students with instruments to again bring the sounds of live holiday music to shoppers and parents. Shoprite invites school groups to play for the public every year, and in turn, donates money towards the school music programs. The music festivities continue through December, and the annual Byram Intermediate Choir and Band Winter Concert will be held Thursday, December 14th at 7pm. The two groups will showcase the talents of more than 100 music students, from grades 5 through 8. The next day, December 15th, Byram Intermediate music classes will team with Language Arts students and teachers for the annual Poetry Slam. Students from 6th Grade Language Arts classes will perform poetry set to video, sound and music. Byram 5th Grade Music classes will serve as the house band, performing percussion pieces on buckets, cans, drums, and boomwhackers, which are pitched percussion instruments made from plastic tubes.