On Monday, November 14, eleven 7th and 8th grade students from South Bristol School and their music teacher, Jennifer McIvor, spent the day in LA performing arts classes. The LA Wind Ensemble learned a musical piece that the SBS students are playing in their December concert, and played it with the middle school students. “It was so much fun to play in a big band with kids that play so well!” said South Bristol sixth grader Reed Gulden.
After playing with Wind Ensemble, students spent a 45 minutes with Liz. Matta, LA’s Band Director, receiving individual feedback on their playing, specifically their embouchures (shape and use of facial muscles), posture, and air support. After working on instrumental music, the students spent time with LA Theater and Film teacher Griff Braley. They learned about acting opportunities open to 7th and 8th graders and visited the ATEC building, where they practiced using video cameras. After lunch in the dining commons, the South Bristol students sat in with Concert Choir, learning one of the LA vocal pieces and singing with the group.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for the South Bristol students,” said Liz Matta, LA Band Director and Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair. “As a musician, any chance I get to play with a group of folks who have more experience than me, is a wonderful learning opportunity, and that was our goal for in playing with Wind Ensemble. On the other side, I feel it’s incredibly important to ‘give back’ and play alongside people that have less experience than you. The beauty of being a musician is you can always take part in both options!”
The annual AOS 93/Lincoln Academy music festival that usually takes place in March has not yet been scheduled for this year. “This visiting opportunity may take the place of the yearly festival, or it might be in addition to the festival. Feedback from most schools, parents and students is to go ahead and continue the festival this year,” said Matta. “Regardless of the festival’s future, we welcome and invite other sending schools – AOS 93 and other schools in towns that have school-choice – to schedule time to come and for a field trip to visit our Performing Arts classes.”