Throw a Beat Into our Community: EMS Band Concert

Emporia Middle School 8th grade band.

Emporia Middle School 8th grade band.

Sydney Douglas, Junior Editor

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Did you know that, “Musical training helps develop language and reasoning: Students who have early musical training will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. The left side of the brain is better developed with music, and songs can help imprint information on young minds” (National Association for Music Education)?  Young Musicians (Emporia Middle School students) had their first concert of the year on March 13th, 2018.  In the article below I wrote about the concert, and I interviewed Mr. Woolard (assistant band teacher), and Leyna Allen (band student).


The band concert was held in the Emporia Middle school cafetorium at 7:00 P.M.  The entry was free for everyone who wanted to attend the concert. There are two to three concerts every year, excluding the Madison Invitational.  6th, 7th, and 8th graders preformed in the concert, the 6th, 7th and 8th graders each played three songs. The concert lasts about an hour. The songs that the 6th, 7th, and 8th grader played were Royal Crown March, Dr. Rock, Boot Scootin’ Barn Dance, (6th grade songs) Adventure Overture, … At Twilight, Pirates’ Cove Adventure, (7th grade songs), Of Distant Peaks, I saw Two Clouds At Morning, and Valley Forge March (8th grade songs).


The first person I interviewed was Leyna Allen, and she is a 7th grade in the Emporia Middle School that plays the flute and piccolo.  The first question I asked her was, were you nervous for the band concert why or why not? She said, “I was particularly nervous, because I am trying a new instrument, so I was worried to so how that would go”.  My next question was, do you think the band as a whole will played better than last year? Leyna said, “I think the band has improved so much since last year, because a lot of people have tried newer and harder instruments”.  After that, I asked what her favorite part of the band concert was, and she said, “I love all band concerts because I enjoy showing people what my grade can do”. My last question for her was, was it hard playing both piccolo and flute during the concert?  “Yes, it was hard because I had to switch my instruments without causing too much racket and I also had to change my ambasure in that short amount of time”. In my opinion I thought the entire Middle School band sounded remarkable for their first band concert of the year!


The next and last person I interviewed was the EMS band teacher, Mr. Woolard.  The first question I asked Mr. Woolard was what is your favorite part about teaching the Middle School band and why?  He said, “It’s middle school band.  I get to come to work and make music, what’s not to love about that”?!  My next question was what’s your least favorite part about teaching the Middle School band in why?  Mr. Woolard said, “It’s middle school band… A bunch of 13 year olds with noise makers in their hands, it can get pretty chaotic pretty quickly”.   After that I asked him what do you worry most about during band concerts? “During concerts, the only worry I have is that students will let their nerves get the best of them.  I know I can handle my nerves, because I’m a grown; professional musician, but middle school students are new to this”.  My last question was what’s your favorite part about conducting a band concert and why? “My favorite part of band concerts is the pride you see and feel coming from all the students who have worked so hard and so long to get this music ready to perform. That, combined with the immense love and happiness coming from all of the parents, just makes for one of the absolute best feelings in the world”!  Mr. Haselhuhn and Mr. Woolard conducted great!


If you missed out on this band concert don’t worry, there’s at least one more concert before the end of the year.  The next concert will probably be even better because the students got some of their jitters out and they will have even more experience. Special thanks go out to Leyna Allen, and Mr. Woolard for letting me interview them.