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New class spotlight: Beginning Band

Xinzic Chen, Staff Writer

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Are you a big fan of music but have zero experience in playing any instruments? Are you an expert at flute but still desire to learn something new, like saxophone? If you fall into either of the two categories (OR if you are someone else), Beginning Band is probably a great choice for you to start off before your school year!

Beginning Band is a full-year course with 1 credit offered to students in 9th through 11th grade. Mr. Michael Sliwinski, the instructor of Beginning Band, came up with the idea of opening this class because his own high school offered it, and he thought it would be ideal for those looking to fulfill their fine arts credit. Beginning Band can also lead you to Nazareth Band, which Mr. S thinks is one of the biggest gains — “The Band is such a tight knit family! Take myself for example, I have been in band since fifth grade, and it has allowed me to make friendships that are still going strong!”

So what on earth is this class like? To sum it up, Mr. S says, “It is an action-packed and exciting introduction to the world of music!” One is not required to have any previous experience with instruments, and there are plenty of instruments to choose from: flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, French horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, and percussion (snare and xylophone). To begin with, the students learn the fundamentals of music, then at the end of the school year, students will perform on the Spring Pop’s Concert in May. According to Mr. S, high schoolers advance much faster as musicians in comparison to middle schoolers. Following this course, the students will possess the ability to be equal to incoming freshmen with four years of playing ability! “With band every day instead of a few times a week, the progression of skill is accelerated,” says Mr. S proudly, “ They will leave with an appreciation and understanding of music in a larger scale!”

Many may fear that their involvement in band can interfere with athletics and other clubs. In response, Mr. S says those concerns are unnecessary. A fun fact is that he had been a three-sport athlete for four years in high school, and over 96% of the band members actively participate in other activities. “Band will very seldom get in your way.” Furthermore, Mr. S introduces some more benefits about taking Beginning Band and gives it his highest recommendation, “We have many of the instruments in our inventory, so you will not need to go out and purchase one! And if you continue with band into your second year, you qualify for a PE credit for your participation in marching band….so you are getting two credits for the price of one, which is absolutely awesome!”

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