By Thomas Daley, SCS eighth grader
On Thursday, Jan. 16, Shelburne Community School (SCS) eighth graders in the band program went on a field trip to Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU) to learn more about CVU in general, but specifically, to learn more about the music programs that CVU offers. The trip was an opportunity for students to play with instrumentalists from the schools that feed into CVU and to reunite with current CVU ninth graders.
When SCS students arrived, they met up with instrumentalists from Hinesburg, Charlotte, and Williston. After CVU band director Andrew Miskavage said a few opening words, students played a concert bb scale with an ensemble of 105 students. Next, they played “Scenes of Russia” by Elliot Del Borgo and rehearsed a soundtrack medley from the science fiction movie saga “Star Wars.” From this instrumental experience, students learned how to work with a new instructor and new musicians, all of which they may be working with again in less than a year.
After the eighth graders played for a while, they set their instruments down and had a question and answer session with Mr. Miskavage and current CVU band students. In this portion of the trip, students learned about CVU’s school system and the truth behind the rumors about it. They also learned about co-curricular activities at CVU, such as the after-school Jazz Band. The session concluded with students feeling a lot more confident about going into CVU as a 9th grader, and ready for lunch.
Over a lunch of sandwiches, milk, water, and cookies, students shared experiences with each other and discussed hopes for music at CVU. Meeting instrumentalists from different schools and saying hello to old friends was another component of the trip. Picking up their instruments and supplies, our Shelburne band students left the school that they will re-enter in seven months.
The trip got a lot of positive feedback from students and it made them excited for CVU band. “I’m looking forward to a new band environment,” said Nate Brangan, an SCS trumpet player, “I’d also like to learn tuba at CVU.”
The trip made students look at their futures, but it also put them into a reflective state of mind. “I like my instrument because of the way it sounds and the music it makes,” reflected Zach Loiter, an SCS alto sax player, “I just like playing music and hearing it.” Both Nate and Zach are members of the SCS Wind Ensemble, have been in the SCS band program for four years, and are excited for CVU music. As Nate Brangan said, “[Music] allows me to express myself.”
The SCS Wind Ensemble will be going on tour to Montreal, Quebec later this spring. The tour will give students experience with performing on their instrument outside of SCS and may spark new ideas around music beyond CVU.
At the end of the trip, the bus unloaded at SCS and students returned to class with new thoughts about high school and their education in the field of instrumental music.