Six Great Bend Middle School band students recently took part in the Kansas Bandmasters Association (KBA) Middle Level Virtual Honor Band.
For the safety of all involved, the Kansas Bandmasters chose to cancel the regular summer convention in Wichita. But that didn’t stop some very creative and determined band directors from putting together a spectacular and time-sensitive Virtual Convention. Many of the sessions in the on-line convention dealt with band instruction in a time of a global pandemic.
In addition, KBA came up with a way for each of the selected students to participate in a Virtual Band. Students received an email with links to a tutorial specific to their individual instruments, a copy of their sheet music, a recording of the music, and instructions on how to record and submit their recordings. The students were also supplied with a video recording of the conductor conducting the piece. The students listened to a click track with earphones while watching the video of the conductor directing them as they played and recorded themselves.
The guest clinician Darcy Vogt Williams selected “Mission Control” by Tyler Arcari as the piece for the ensemble performance. Williams is the head band director for Stiles Middle School in Leander, Texas. KBA also joined with Ion Concert Media to bring a film to life with their performance and premiered the final product on July 17.
Students from GBMS that participated in this project were Emilee Nelson, Eva Ramirez, Samantha Mayers, Trenton Peterson, Ailey Williams and Kylie McCormick.
Special thanks goes to the parents of these fine band students for helping with the recording process, said GBMS band directors Don Regehr and Grant Mathews.