Band, orchestra enjoy Disney music mix


Daly Mann

West Shore band and orchestra musicians prepare to learn under the watchful eye of Walt Disney.

Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band and Symphonic Orchestra traveled to Disney World last week to participate in a workshop intended to help students learn new music and techniques. The focus of the workshop was sight reading, a term for when musicians have little time to practice a piece then they have to perform it. Following the three-hour workshop, students were allowed to go into the park itself for around six hours.

Senior Joel Soucheck said he left the event feeling the trip was worthwhile.

“I think the workshop helped the band’s sight reading ability by giving us greater confidence, as well as giving us interesting music to play we don’t normally get the chance to,” said Soucheck, who plays the flute.

Junior Kyle Canady also was excited about the workshop for more reasons than simply improving his sight-reading skills.

“I mean, it was really cool, we got to play ‘Star Wars’ music and that was awesome,” Canady said. “But we also got to spend a day in Epcot and not stuck at school in class, which of course is always nice.”

Junior Jacob Blair, who plays the violin, called the trip “useful.”

“We read some really weird keys, and usually [Orchestra Director Maureen] Fallon just gives us one or two sharp or flat keys, but our finale piece had four flats,” Blair said. “[It] was very weird to play for a lot of us, and it’s just more practice in playing a weird key. ”

Furthermore, the workshop helped Blair, who is concert master of the school’s Symphonic Orchestra, with his leadership skills.

“This year, I was concert master in the front, so … it felt like I really needed to lead [the violins] this year,” he said. “It was definitely worth it to miss a day of school. It helped us grow as an orchestra, it helped us grow as players and Epcot is really fun as well.”

Junior Jason Nemeroff, who plays the trumpet, also attended the field trip.

“We [worked] with a guy named Allen Gray … he led us in a sight-reading workshop where we read a bunch of songs which he had arranged,” Nemeroff said. “He worked with us and taught us a lot of sight-reading tips and advice on our technique. Then we synced up the music with a movie which the song we had played [came from]. It was great.”

Both Canady and Soucheck said they enjoyed hearing the orchestra and band classes playing together, something that doesn’t happen often.

“It’s great because it allows the band to hear what a band really sounds like in terms of sound and size,” Soucheck said.

Canady said the trip’s success bodes well for similar workshops in the future.

“[Band director Chris] Houze has talked about maybe taking a trip outside of the state next year,” Canady said. “And I’m already looking forward to it.”

By Daly Mann and Clark Evans


By Clark Evans