Collaborations and connections through music

Seneca Valley School District  |  Posted on

On February 9, the secondary band department welcomed nearly 170 fifth grade band students from Haine Middle School (HMS) and Ehrman Crest Middle School (ECMS) to the intermediate high school for a collaborative day of making music with members of the Wind Ensemble, grades 9-12. After a brief morning greeting, the students broke into sectional groups where they met high schoolers from the wind ensemble as well as fellow fifth grade band students from a different building.

ECMS flute player Paige Chesler mentioned that it was “so amazing to get to work with familiar and unfamiliar faces.” Fellow flute player Ariel Shamshoum from HMS said, “The high schoolers were so awesome and inspirational!” Haine saxophonist Akshaye Pallikkattil added, “It was really fun to play with the high schoolers.” These sectionals then came together in the high school band room to rehearse as a full group of nearly 220 musicians!

All the students worked incredibly well together to bring their music to life that fifth graders will perform at upcoming spring concerts. The event ended with a group lunch where students continued to make new friends while sharing stories about the day and their experiences in band. Haine tuba player Taylor Harsche said, “It was great to play with other tubas!” ECMS clarinet player Grace Maloney added, “It was really fun. It made me a better clarinetist.”

The fifth grade band students worked diligently in preparation for the successful collaboration day. Their diligence in preparation was thanks to the fifth grade band directors, Mrs. Kelly Levere (HMS) and Mrs. Tracy Glass (ECMS). Thank you to these fantastic directors for their hard work in addition to the hard work of the elementary band students.

Caitlin Emlet, ECMS clarinetist, said, “I learned that if you work hard and practice a lot, you’ll get great at what you’re trying to accomplish!” HMS trumpet player Peyton Burke agreed, “If you practice really hard at something, you can be great at it!”

Throughout the day, the fifth grade students were able to meet and work with SV secondary band directors as well as one of our SV Academy of Choice (SVAOC) artists in residence. Noah Ezzolo, ECMS French horn player noted, “I loved how I got to meet my seventh grade band directors.” All the directors were impressed with the students and really enjoyed working with them throughout the day.

Secondary Band Directors include Mr. Varden Armstrong, Director of Bands 9-12 and Performing Arts Coordinator; Mr. Robert Babick, Director of Bands 9-12; Mrs. Sara Snyder, Director of Bands 7-8; Mr. Brian Croach, Director of Bands 7-12; and Percussion Artist in Residence Mr. PJ Gatch.