From classroom seats to music beats
By RHMS eighth grade student Riley Busch
As the musicians raced to get their equipment from the buses, the students of the elementary schools shuffled into the gymnasium. While the band and orchestra settled into their chairs and the students quieted down, Scott McGowan, band and orchestra teacher at Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) started his introduction.
On January 12-13, the seventh and eighth grade band and orchestra led by McGowan, set out to tour the four RHMS feeder elementary schools (Redstone, Wildcat Mountain, Timber Trail, and Buffalo Ridge) as they have done for the past several years. This is one of the few times a year where elementary school kids get a closer look at what goes on in the music program at the middle school.
The band and orchestra made sure to play popular pieces that kids would enjoy. Once the orchestra began to play “Let it Go” from the box office smash Frozen you could feel the excitement and happiness radiating off of the kids. And when the band played the theme from Charlie Brown (also referred to as “Linus and Lucy”), all of the people in the room could be heard humming along.
In the middle of each concert, both the band and orchestra students were given a chance to showcase their unique instruments. Once the kids were given a chance to hear each instrument individually, the final piece played by the band – and then by the orchestra – was just that much more impressive to listen to.
Not only was the band and orchestra tour great for kids, it was also an amazing opportunity for the students and chaperones. When asked what her favorite part of the tour was, clarinet player Emily McDonald replied, “The best part is that you get to see old teachers and siblings as well as the school. The tour also allows you to focus on band for a while, which is nice for some students.”
The overall purpose of the trip was to get elementary students interested in the possibility of learning music. At the end of every concert, McGowan told the kids about their different opportunities, and what they could do when they got to middle school. He explained how much fun it was and highlighted all of the opportunities that the band and orchestra players got to experience.
The RHMS Nighthawk musicians are always very proud of all of the students in elementary school who take up playing an instrument.