Batavia High School Concert Band Update

Sage Haynes, Last Look Team

The Batavia High School concert band 2021-22 season is off to a great start! Practices are underway and the schedule of performances is nearly set. The concerts kick off in December and will continue into March and May. Each show typically lasts one to two hours, but takes months to prepare. The band started learning their songs in the second week of September.

Currently, no music has been selected except Sleighride for the winter/Christmas concert. “I try to give them [band members] options so if I pick two songs, I try to let them pick which one,” explained the band director Mr. Smith. He tries to give the students songs they would enjoy performing the most. He also chooses songs based on the students’ strengths. “I wait to see who I have in my room and pick songs accordingly,” Smith elaborated. Many songs the band performs include the exciting and intimidating solo parts. The soloists are primarily seniors. “We usually try to pick seniors. It just depends on what music we get… I have in concert band almost 20 seniors so it’s hard to get everybody a spot,” Smith continued. It’s a challenge, but in the end, the solos end up being indescribable.

Some of the music pieces they receive are not originally made for them to play. Mr. Smith adapts each song to fit the capabilities of his band, stating, “We get music and it’s written for a certain band, not ours and I’m a big person on adapting.”

The band conductor David Smith is not just the conductor, he helps with all music-related activities for Batavia High School. Including, though not limited to, marching band, pep band, choir, music lessons, and theater.

Band is a complex series of different instruments that, when played together, can create a masterpiece. Batavia High School’s band has played impressive music every year, and the instructor is no rookie to music. Smith first started playing in concert band during his 6th grade year, playing the tuba. Since then, he has continued to pursue his career in band. Mr. Smith has been teaching band for seventeen years at Batavia and nineteen years overall.

Not only does playing in a band give you the satisfaction of playing music with a group, but it also improves your well being. Recent studies have shown that concert band boosts your confidence, decreases stress, and supports efficient brain processing. Maddie Clepper, who plays the saxophone in the concert band, says “Playing music is a good way to express myself.” Furthermore, writer Allie Cooper states in her article Benefits of Joining School Band and Orchestra for Hillje Music Centers, “Research from Maryville University confirms there’s a definite psychological link between mental health and learning development.”

So come out and hear the music from over ninety talented band members!