To the Editor:
I attended the Gogebic Range Honors Band performance on Friday night at the Historic Ironwood Theatre. The students who played were selected by their individual band directors to take part.
To say that I was impressed is quite the understatement. Stephen Grugin, an associate professor of music from Northern Michigan University, came to work with the students during the day on an array of music that ran the musical gamut. What the audience listened to was the result of that one day of practice.
True, the students did get the music about a week before the performance, but it takes time to put together an ensemble performance because it takes not only playing your part, but listening to your neighbors on either side and in front and back of you, the instruments on the other side of the band, the percussion in the back and thinking about blend. Oh, and watching the director.
The students did a wonderful job. I admired their conduct on stage, their posture and their playing. They watched the director closely and I’ve heard that they had a good time on Friday for what must have been a very long rehearsal or two to put together five pieces in one day.
The students and their band directors from, in alphabetical order, Bessemer, Ewen-Trout Creek, Hurley, Ironwood, Mercer, Wis ., and Wakefield-Marenisco, are to be highly commended.
There are plans to make this an annual event. I certainly hope that happens, because it was a pleasure to watch the students. The musical selections were fun to listen to. I had a smile on my face and my foot was tapping the whole time. Bravo!