STUDENTS REFINE MUSICAL SKILLS

August 13, 2002 11:00 pm
Alissa McClelland-Bane and Heather Hughes. ().
Alissa McClelland-Bane and Heather Hughes. ().

CRESCENT CITY – After five days honing their skills on musical instruments, participants of the North Coast Summer Band Camp presented a concert.

The camp was Aug. 5-9 at Crescent Elk Middle School, which ended with the concert Friday night in the school's auditorium.

Ninety-one students from Azalea Middle School and Del Norte County participated in the event, which not only kept students' playing abilities in shape, but taught them how to work together.

Not only did the camp have music teachers from both school districts, but high school students also mentored the fifth through eighth grade students.

Students from Brookings-Harbor High School who assisted were Daril Cuthbertson, Olivia Geraghty and Kevin Shepherd. Del Norte High School students were Kris Kerr, Kevin Wakeman, Mason Havens, Lexie Johnson, Susie Mitchell, Joel Senior and Kyle Stoner.

Teachers were Mike and Shelley Shepherd of Brookings-Harbor School District, and Amy Ross, Greg Goode, Marshall Jones, Martin Brunelle and Lindy Rust of Del Norte School District. The camp also featured Lars Jefferson, a professional musician.

Approximately 300 parents and friends attended the concert that began with the "B" band performing "Air and Allegro" by John Edmonson and conducted by Jefferson.

Five musicians stepped out of the band seating to create a melody with boomwhackers, plastic pipes each designed to create a different pitch when struck against a table.

Each musician had to strike the the boomwhacker at the right time to create the correct chords and maintain the rhythm.

The song, "Boomwhacker Bagatelle" conducted by Goode, music instructor at Pine Grove School.

Mike Shepherd, instrumental music teacher at Azalea Middle School and BHHS, led the jazz band in the tune "Bubber's Groove."

He told the audience that although he was working with students from two districts at the camp, he knew right away who would volunteer to play the improvisational solos. Skylar Shuford performed on alto saxophone and Marc Shepherd on trumpet. Both are Brookings-Harbor students.

Improvisation in jazz is when the melody is made up while playing the tune.

Jefferson lead the jazz band in the second tune, "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," which again featured a solo by Shuford.

Ross, Crescent Elk Middle School's band director, introduced the "A" band before conducting "Chester's Variations."

That tune was followed by "The Great Locomotive Chase" conducted by Del Norte High School music instructor Rust.

Rust explained that the tune by Robert W. Smith was about Civil War trains that were often taken by the enemy. Oftentimes a chase would ensue, thus the name.

In the arrangement, percussionists created the sounds of the bells and the clickety-clack of the rails. Woodwind instruments created the whistle sounds while the brass added the element of suspense in the melody.

Three songs performed by the combined bands finished off the concert. The 91 musicians along with mentors and teachers performed "The Streets of Madrid" conducted by Brunelle, Del Norte district music teacher for Bess Maxwell in Crescent City, Margaret Keating in Klamath and Mountain in Gasquet.

Shelley Shepherd of Azalea conducted "Gently Touch the Sky" and Marshall Jones of Redwood and Smith River schools conducted "Medley from ‘Shrek'."

The camp was made possible because of 32 sponsors in Brookings and Crescent City. Del Norte schools provided the facilities and Brookings-Harbor Schools provided transportation.