One of the composers whose work was performed by the 8th grade band this year died on May 30. Elliot Del Borgo, composer of "Hopak" and many other great works died at the age of 74. You can read more about Mr. Del Borgo here.
To get students thinking more in depth about what they are learning and playing in class, some students wrote program notes to accompany the concert on May 6 (6:30 5/6 Bands, 7:30 Percussion Ensemble & 7/8 Bands-Be there or be square!). Here are a few words from the notes written to accompany the 8th grade music by Nathan. You will have to come to the concert to hear the whole thing!
Great work Nathan!
"Equinox" by Eric Osterling
8th grade band students have been compiling a portfolio which reflects their learning throughout their four years of instrumental music. One option for students to demonstrate a connection between the musical and non-musical worlds was to write a one page essay talking about what extra-musical things they have learned from their time in band at DMIS. I will post a number of these as they come in. Today's example of excellence comes from Jennifer. The following excerpt is posted with permission.
Band has taught me so much, both musical and non musical. It shows you how to take responsibility If you never did, you wouldn't be able to reach your full potential. If you never practiced for your lesson, you just better not expect to get it done well. You also have to take responsibility because your band leans on you. Someone might ask how to do a fingering or at a concert you might end up off track leading your band mates off track.
The 8th grade jazz band has been composing and recording melodies too. We hop you enjoy our work!
First up today we have "Do Dop Dweep Dop" by Nick, Kevin, Cory, and Derek.
Our second recording of the day was "Durango" by Dominick, Tim, and Nathan.
Here is a sample performance of the first movement of the Howard Hanson Suite performed by the DMIS 8th grade band. We will see you at the concert on May 6 at 7:30 pm for the rest of it!
The first movement is entitled "Enchantment."
Have a happy weekend everybody! In honor of our few days off and our cold and wet weather, I wanted to post a fitting video to warm you all up. The United States Navy Band has recorded a fantastic performance of a piece by Eric Whitacre. This music, "October," is stunningly beautiful . It has also been rewritten for choir under the title "Alleluia."
The bands of the United States Armed Services are some of the best in the world. They promote morale and culture throughout the world. Through their work an excellent service is provided to the public at home and service members abroad.
Alan Gilbert is the conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the best musical groups in the world. His position is one of the most prestigious that a conductor could ever earn. Maestro (which is sometimes what great conductors are called) Gilbert has a great sense of humor and is always happy to talk about music. Last week, he paid a visit to Sesame Street to explain what a conductor does. What other things can a conductor do with his or her baton? Do you think you might like to be a conductor someday? Why? Post your thoughts in the comments section!
Equinox, a song being performed by the 8th grade band in May is written by Eric Osterling. Osterling was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He taught in the public schools there for 34 years. His music has been performed by musicians from elementary students to professionals. You can read and find links to his music on his biography.
One of Mr. Osterling's most famous marches is Bandology. Here you can hear it performed by the CHMS band from 2009. What similarities do you hear between Bandology and Equinox? Post your thoughts in the comments below!
April is Jazz Appreciation Month. During this time, we can reflect and learn about a style of music that America can call its own creation. 2013 will celebrate The Spirit and Rhythms of Jazz. Stories, videos, and a lot more information can be found at the website of the Smithsonian: www.smithsonianjazz.org. You can even find a list of 112 ways to celebrate jazz. Jazz is an important part of our shared history and culture. Take a few minutes this month to learn a little and listen a little.
Also, be on the lookout for a guest post by two students that visited Niagara Falls over break.
The Dubuque Symphony Orchestra has just announced the audition requirements for their 2013-2014 youth ensembles. Information can be found by clicking here.
Past and current Drexler and Intermediate School students as well as a number of Western Dubuque High School students currently participate in the ensembles. Auditions are open to students with at least two years of playing experience. The groups perform professional level symphonic music. It is an amazing opportunity for any young musician!
Ms. Maher teaches 7th and 8th grade music at Drexler Middle & Intermediate School in the Western Dubuque Community School District.
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