Concert Band progresses even in unique circumstances

Director Mr. Wilson leads students in preparing for concerts

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Elise Wood

Mr. Wilson, HHS Band Director, has led the bands at HHS through a unique year for band.

Elise Wood, Opinion and Clubs Editor

Highland concert band at Highland High School (HHS), is continuing to play even though this year has been different from most, under the leadership of Mr. Wilson, the band director. According to Amity Taylor, an HHS freshman in concert band, Wilson “is very good at what he does,” although “he tends to get distracted a lot while he’s teaching.”

In Band, there are no leadership positions such as President or Historian, but students do receive “chairs” based on their playing abilities. “I would say when I got first chair,” Taylor said when asked what her most memorable concert band experience was this year.

The global pandemic has created some unusual challenges for concert band this year. “With the hybrid schedule we had to get used to practicing without some of the instruments that we have if everyone is all together,” Wilson said.

He also said that band had to be very flexible when it came to concert arrangements, because those could change at the last minute. This year, concert band has also “put some safety protocols in place to promote a safe environment for everyone, these have made playing in band interesting, but it works out,” Wilson said.

Wilson is proud of the progress concert band has made even with these challenges. “We had an outdoor concert in October and a recording session in December.” Concert band is now preparing for another concert coming up on April 5th. “Even with the unique challenges we faced with COVID-19 and the hybrid schedule, the students in concert band have been able to prepare some great music,” he said.

Taylor agreed that the students were progressing towards their goals, including playing well at concerts and at the upcoming Solo and Ensemble competition around Spring Break. She states, “It’s going really great.”

Wilson feels that everyone in band has the potential to continue band at a higher level. “We work on technique everyday and if students really focus on those simple principles, they will see growth and find satisfaction in doing so,” he said.

To stay motivated, Wilson says students need to practice. “They will fall in love with the music and sound they make on their instrument and that helps them stay motivated to keep working at it,” he said.

Wilson also said that there’s a place for everyone in band. HHS concert band tries to “help everyone feel welcome,” and they “love to welcome more people to the band family!”