High School Musicians Play With the UVa Band
The seventh annual Band Day at the University of Virginia last weekend, gave high school musicians a day to remember and a chance to play in Scott Stadium.
About 200 students were there for the first Band Day; this year, more than 600 were on hand. The young players registered at 8 Saturday morning and then broke into sections to learn their parts for a show based on The Music Man.
Pease: We started for the first time in 2004, and I thought, this would be a great way to let other folks know what we're doing across the state to promote music and I think the idea is still the same, that no matter what school you go to, spend a day with a college band.
UVA Band Director Bill Pease.
Pease: Too many folks don't continue after high school, and I think even if they come to hear the other schools around the state, it gives them a real experience for what it's really like, 'cause I think if you don't experience it, you really don't truly know and that's really what we're promoting; we're just promoting music and college band; UVA, of course, but we want them to continue no matter where they go.
It’s also important to realize, Pease added:
Pease: The one thing that people are surprised about is that it's less time commitment at the college level than it is the high school level, and most people, the reason why they don't do college band is because of the time commitment, for the most part.
On Saturday, Cavalier Marching Band members and staff helped the young players prepare. Pease also got help from CMB alumni.
Pease: They know the expectations; they can kinda feel when things need to tighten up or loosen up and when the sense of urgency needs to be and also they know the lay of the land a little bit and how our band functions.
To take part in UVA Band Day, high school students are either recommended by their band director:
Pease: Or they've come and attended our summer camp with us and gotten them to build a relationship up with us, and they're interested in coming to UVA.
Al Chez, who plays trumpet in the David Letterman Band, was a guest soloist. He and Pease had played together in the Garfield Cadets Drum Corps.
Pease: We hadn't seen each other for a long time and right away we reconnected. Since then, I think, you know, all musicians, it's a brotherhood and he's shared some other great folks with us, some people that are on a world or national stage quite a bit, and come and share their talents with our folks.
Chez also rehearsed the trumpet section Saturday morning. The Cavalier band arrived after a couple of hours, and the final performance featured more than 900 musicians.
John Ogle, WCVE News