Getting the band together

January 29, 2006|By BONNIE H. BRECHBILL


Guest conductor Bradley Genevro gently chided his musicians for taking some eighth notes too quickly.

"You're playing too well to rush through it," he told the high school students. "We want everyone to hear how good it sounds."

The director of bands and assistant professor of music at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., Genevro served as guest conductor of the senior high school band at the Franklin Fulton County Music Educators Association's 2006 County Band Festival on Saturday.

"Can you make it sound more easy than it is?" he asked the flute section during a difficult, fast-moving piece of music. "Relax. Enjoy it."


After Saturday morning's rehearsal at Chambersburg Area Senior High School, Genevro said he was pleased with the students.

"Yesterday, none of them had played together before," he said. "After nine hours of rehearsal, they perform together."

"The kids have really worked hard," Genevro said of the 116-member band. "It's going to be a great performance."

Music helps students acquire lifelong skills such as multitasking, concentration and focus, Genevro said.

"Ninety percent is usually an A, but that's not acceptable here," he said. "We strive for 100 percent correct all the time."

An appreciation and love for the arts would make the world a better place, Genevro said.

"Some countries put an emphasis on this, but so many don't nurture a love and respect for the arts," he said.

Pat McNamee, band director at Waynesboro (Pa.) Area Senior High School, brought 44 students to the festival. They had had about a month to work on the music before rehearsing and performing with other area students.

"It's going quite well," he said.

Guest conductor for the 114-member Junior High Band was Dr. William Stowman, chair of the music department and director of instrumental studies at Messiah.

Four J. Frank Faust Junior High School ninth-graders talked about their school experiences with music after Saturday's rehearsal.

Tiffany Oyler, 14, who plays the flute, said that music helps people learn.

"And it brings other subjects together," she said, citing history and geometry as components of music.

Oboist Rachel Woodring, 15, said that music "broadens people's minds. Not everyone is going to like sports."

Emmy Rine, 15, who plays the bass clarinet, said she enjoys band and chorus.

Flute player Kaitlyn Longfellow, 15, said a study of music "teaches discipline and allows you to be creative."

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