WAYNE, NJ — In a pandemic yr, with so many restrictions on gatherings, reside performances by up-and-coming music college students haven’t been potential. This places a damper on the motivation to observe and the eagerness to be the most effective they might be. Regardless of this, fifteen musicians from Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley pushed themselves within the one and solely competitors out there to them this yr. It was this further, voluntary effort and dedication that was acknowledged over the past Wayne Board of Schooling assembly.
“This yr has required, not solely the same old dedication by our college students to succeed, however an unimaginable resilience and refusal to surrender,” stated Wayne Hills Excessive College Director of Bands, Matt Paterno throughout the BOE assembly.
“In a yr when the standard space, area and honors ensembles merely couldn’t be held, our pupil musicians may have simply languished,” Paterno added. “As a substitute, they sought out totally different alternatives and avenues to differentiate themselves in our music applications, our colleges and our group.”
Wayne Valley Excessive College Director of Bands, Gabe Batiz instructed TAPinto that the most important problem this yr has been that, past Marching Band, there have been no scheduled performances for the scholars to work towards.
“We usually have 5 to 10 performances lined up within the calendar. Now we have journeys, and we’ve every thing lined up, however we simply didn’t have that this yr,” he defined. “The scholars have simply been placing religion within the course of and haven’t been motivated by a live performance or a contest or a pageant the place they know they might want to carry out in entrance of a reside viewers.”
With none deadlines for the varied bands, ensembles and people, it has “simply been an open-ended course of,” in response to Batiz.
“These youngsters have been working laborious and proving their dedication for future performances that none of us have been positive would truly occur,” added the WV Band Director.
The one competitors out there to soloists and teams happened instantly and considerably not too long ago. This was the Artwork Ed New Jersey Solo and Ensemble Music Pageant, which was all digital and continues to be ongoing. Over 1,000 college students from throughout NJ have participated on this occasion by sending in recordings of their performances.
As a very voluntary program/competitors, seven college students from Wayne Hills and eight college students from Wayne Valley selected to spend their time to organize, observe and document their performances within the hopes of gaining precious suggestions from high music educators within the state.
“One of many issues we’re most pleased with, is that there was actually nothing on the road for these college students besides their intrinsic motivation and their like to carry out,” stated Paterno. “It is one thing that was actually heartwarming this yr, particularly for me as a trainer.”
The pageant was additionally considerably of an audition the place, these chosen, would transfer on to the second half. This could serve, this yr, because the state finals.
5 Wayne Valley music college students have been profitable in incomes their manner into the state finals and can every be submitting one other recorded efficiency to be judged for the ultimate competitors.
- Jacob Cho was chosen as a state finalist on bass clarinet
- Nicholas Mikhail made the finals on trumpet.
- Winston Lee earned his manner into the state finals on two devices: oboe and English horn.
- Isabelle Mailman was additionally chosen as a state finalist on each the alto and tenor saxophone.
- Justin Sonnett made the state finals on each the snare drum and the marimba.
Of the over 1,000 college students who participated within the pageant, solely eight made it to the state finals on two devices and three of these eight got here from Wayne Valley Excessive College.
“I feel it is essential to notice that to have that sort of mastery on two devices is a much more tough activity than it seems,” stated Batiz. “The quantity of preparation that goes into, not simply mastering two devices, however to organize two solos, is only a testomony to their self-discipline and a testomony to how dedicated they’re to the artwork and to our program and simply to efficiency. It speaks volumes to the character of those college students.”
WV’s Joanna Saxon was not solely a participant within the pageant, however she was chosen as top-of-the-line musicians in all the state and acquired All-Japanese honors, which is for all the east coast. In line with Batiz, which means “she is taken into account top-of-the-line musicians on the coast.”
“Dan Leschinsky, a really wonderful musician, has been part of our program for 4 years and was only recently accepted on a full-ride scholarship to the unique William Paterson jazz efficiency program,” stated Batiz. “We’re very pleased with his achievement for making that occur.”
“Lastly, for our college students we’ve James Solar,” stated Batiz. “He is a freshman oboe-ist who participated within the arts at New Jersey State solo and ensemble pageant as properly, so these are the scholar recognition for Wayne Valley Excessive College instrumental music.”
For Wayne Hills, seven college students have been honored on the Board of Schooling assembly for his or her further efforts and accomplishments this yr.
Matthew Cioletti and Taylor Keenan carried out within the pageant on the clarinet and Pratham Kumar on the trumpet. Miriam Goz performed each the baritone sax and the clarinet.
Taylor Keenan was honored for her participation within the pageant on the clarinet, but in addition as a result of she acquired a music scholarship to the College of Delaware to review Music Schooling.
“Kevin Valencia is certainly one of our prized swap hitters,” stated Paterno. “He carried out on cello for the pageant and shall be spending the summer time performing with the world champion Hawthorne Caballeros on mellophone, which is kind of a distinction.”
Paterno launched the Wayne Hills Band President, Ethan Thompson final. He carried out on the French horn throughout the pageant and acquired a music scholarship to Fredonia College to review Music Introduction.
Each Band Administrators spoke briefly in regards to the ensemble teams at WH and WV who overcame many obstacles to carry out just about. These included their marching bands, which have been the one teams in a position to have any reside performances.
Wayne Valley’s marching band earned a number of championships this previous fall.
RELATED STORY: The Extraordinary Persistence and Success of Wayne Valley’s Marching Band
Symphonic bands, jazz bands, percussion bands, woodwind and horn ensembles and winter guard (which is coloration guard, however indoors) all had varied performances over this previous college yr, however all of them have been digital.
What has each band administrators excited is the likelihood for reside reveals earlier than the tip of the varsity yr, if all goes properly.
On June 4, Wayne Valley is planning “a marathon” of reside music with performances from each ensemble group within the college.
“This would be the first time this yr that these teams will have the ability to carry out reside collectively,” stated Batiz.
Dates are nonetheless being labored on for a efficiency by the varied bands and ensembles at Wayne Hills.
“We could have an outside live performance earlier than the tip of college,” stated Paterno confidently. “And we’re working towards a efficiency on the Memorial Day parade with the city.”
“I feel this yr has taught us many issues about instructing, educating and studying,” Paterno stated in conclusion. “By way of it all of the dedication, dedication and achievement of our music college students has not waned. They’ve served as a shining instance of methods to overcome obstacles and methods to maintain your thoughts targeted on the aim.”
Members of the BOE thanked each band administrators for his or her private dedications and sacrifices.
“I actually need to thank the 2 of you, as a result of whereas the scholars might have been motivated, they could not have completed something like this throughout a pandemic with out your motivation and management,” stated BOE President Cathy Kazan.
“My hats off to all of you, particularly throughout this time,” stated BOE Trustee Matt Giordano. “You actually did this with one hand tied behind your again. Thanks all and congratulations!”
“I do know the mother and father actually recognize every thing that you just do for his or her kids,” stated Trustee Eileen Albanese of the 2 band administrators. “The inspiration that you’re for them, and the impact that it has on them is for for much longer than simply by means of their highschool profession. So, thanks for what you do as we speak, but in addition thanks for what you’ve got given these college students for a few years to return.”
Each President Joe Biden and Governor Phil Murphy have stated that they anticipate no digital college come the autumn. If this seems to be true, and college students return to full-time, in-person instruction, then the same old college reside performances will doubtless all go on. For the music college students at each Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley, issues will then be again to their regular, and we’ll all reap the advantages of listening to these gifted college students play.