Quarantines, social distancing, stay-at-home orders and any other thing this Corona pandemic wants to throw at us has not stopped the Berea-Midpark Band program from pursuing music education for our band members.
Obviously rehearsals and performances are no longer part of the curriculum, with the exception of some one-on-one with the directors, so the concentration has been to teach the music behind the performances. Using a virtual classroom, (a common practice across the school district), Mr. Fudale and Mr. Barth have gathered band students from the comfort and safety of their homes to discuss music or sometimes just to discuss how things are going as the students, AND the teachers adjust to a lack of face-to-face social interaction. To enhance the virtual band room experience Mr. Fudale began inviting special guests to visit and interact with the students by sharing their experiences.
One of the first guests to appear was famed composer Stephen Melillo. Mr. Melillo’s music is a familiar sound to Titan band members who have performed such Melillo works as “Godspeed”, “Stormquest” and many other Melillo pieces. Mr. Melillo spent two hours with students and drew on his experience as a composer whose works range from film scores to symphony orchestra pieces. Students had the opportunity to ask Mr. Melillo questions about various works they had performed in the past, composition methods and a host of other interesting philosophies Mr. Melillo practices.
The band directors hope to have more guest lecturers visit the virtual band room.
As the State of Ohio maintains school closures for the safety of the students, the Berea-Midpark band program will continue to “play on” learning beyond the instrument and banding together … virtually.