Bands combine for joint performance
Northbrook Friday, 9/28/12 Band director, Mike Miller leads Friday morning rehearsal at Field Middle School. The band is getting ready for a concert October 24th that will feature students from district 27 and 31 schools. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
School District 31’s Field Middle School Symphonic band and School District 27’s Wood Oaks Junior High School Wind Ensemble will present their first combined concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Field’s Auditorium, 3131 Techny Road, Northbrook.
Updated: October 18, 2012 9:38AM
Student musicians in Northbrook and Glenview are out to prove they can double the pleasure one band can offer.
A band at Field Middle School in School District 31, which draws Northbrook and Glenview youngsters, and a band at Wood Oaks Junior High School in School District 27, which teaches Northbrook students, are combining their talents at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24, to present a joint concert at Field’s Auditorium, 3131 Techny Road.
Although the first collaborative musical event ever presented by the two districts will be a treat for the audience, it also will be an enriching educational experience for the students, said Mike Miller and Wayne Gordon, band directors in the two districts.
The band leaders wanted to give students exposure to a greater number of teachers and conductors, as well as expanding their perspective, Miller said.
“Young students tend to see only themselves. They think they are the only ones who do what they do, whether it’s playing a clarinet or a trumpet,” said Miller, a District 31 band director. “This event will show them there are people right in the next district who are also doing these things, and unlike sports where students are trying to beat other students, they can collaborate.”
One of the two bands to play in the upcoming concert is the 30-member Field School’s Symphonic Band, which includes sixth, seventh and eighth graders who must audition to join.
For the past 13 years, the Symphonic Band has received a superior rating at the Illinois Grade School Music Association Concert Band Contest. In 2008 and 2012, the band received a perfect score from all three judges, Miller said.
Miller and Gordon, a District 27 band leader, also have been trading places to give their students exposure to another teacher.
“It is wonderful for my kids, because working with another conductor gives them a chance to hear ideas that I’ve shared with them re-enforced and gives them some new things they may connect with,” Gordon said.
His best musicians are in the 38-member Wood Oaks Wind Ensemble, who also will be playing in the Oct. 24 event.
The Ensemble also consistently earns top ratings in music competitions, he added.
Several 13-year-old, eighth-grade student musicians from Northbook are looking forward to the event.
Vince Bossa, who plays percussion, is considering a career playing classical music with an orchestra.
Grant Kim, a French horn player, said being part of the band has not only taught him about music, but to persevere in life.
Annie Lim, who plays the oboe, hopes to continue playing throughout her life for her own enjoyment.
“I really like the way playing in a group sounds when it all comes together,” she said.