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To The Beat of Their Own Drum: Carmel Bands hosted Percussion Concert on March 21

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Senior Aaron McGhiey plays the marimba when practicing for the 2015 percussion concert as a freshman. McGhiey said the concert is a great opportunity for older percussionists to work with younger students.

Senior Aaron McGhiey plays the marimba when practicing for the 2015 percussion concert as a freshman. McGhiey said the concert is a great opportunity for older percussionists to work with younger students.

The percussion section of the band performed a concert on March 21. The concert took place in the band room and started at 7 p.m. 

This concert marks the band program’s annual tradition of performing a percussion-only concert before the start of spring break. Aaron McGhiey, percussion ensemble member and senior, said he recalls the percussion concert as one of the highlights of the year, especially because of the larger ensemble size, as all percussionists across Carmel Bands will be included.

“I’m really excited to perform these pieces we’ve been working on pretty much all year. It’s a great way to show off all the skills of not just the people who have worked in my class, but also the freshmen who just joined our program,” McGhiey said.

Unlike previous years, however, Carmel Bands also invited middle school bands to participate. Director of percussion Jeff Queen said he is looked forward to seeing these middle school students perform in the percussion concert for the first time.

Queen said, “One new thing this year is we have our middle school playing, so that will be exciting to have them at the high school (performing).”

While McGhiey looked forward to working with the freshmen, he also said he was excited to perform in a smaller ensemble during the concert.

McGhiey said, “It’s cool because, being a senior, it’s my chance to show off my individual skill. I’m in a smaller ensemble with a couple of my friends and it’s a very difficult piece we’re playing. I don’t want to brag about myself, but it’s cool to show off what I can do.”

In addition to a greater number of musicians, Queen said he was excited to employ the use of various non-percussion instruments to add variety to the show.

Queen said, “There’s some drum things, there’s some melodic things and we use the keyboards, xylophones, vibraphones and timpani. If you’ve never been to a percussion ensemble concert before, it will be very different because it’s all percussion and there’s a lot of tunes and melodies as well.”

Although McGhiey said he was eager to play in a smaller ensemble with his friends, he said playing in a ensemble of this size also presents certain challenges to musicians.

McGhiey said, “You definitely have to be more articulate in how you play things rhythm-wise because you’re playing with your peers instead of this big group where you can kind of hide. The group is smaller so you are more visible to the people you’re performing to.”

In addition to this because percussionists from different band periods must play together, Queen said the logistical aspect of the concert presents challenges to directors and students alike.

Queen said, “The real challenge is we’re never together as a full group, i.e. the full amount of participants, so it’s more of a logistics challenge than it is a performance challenge. We have a full rehearsal after school so everybody comes to the band room and they’re putting the stage together while we’re trying to figure out where everything goes because we’ve never had all this stuff in one place before.”

Although the percussion concert may present some challenges, McGhiey said he still looked forward to it.

McGhiey said, “It gives you more experience. It’s a great way to just get out there and learn more about yourself and more about the people you’re playing with.”

 

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About the Writer
Jessica Konrad, Feature Reporter, News Copy Editor

Jessica is a senior and has been writing for the HiLite for the last four years. During her time on staff, she has served as Copy Editor, Beats Editor...

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