Invasion of the middle school musicians


The band meets during mentor period to prepare for their concert

In mid-November, the announcement was made that the students of the St. Anthony-Our Lady of Guadalupe Spanish Immersion Program would be moving to the Kane Street campus.

To help better accommodate the new addition of these students this coming fall, the Kane campus will undergo some renovations and changes; the music programs are not exempt from those changes.

The middle school music program – bands, choirs, and music classes – will be transitioning into the high school band and choir rooms to make more room in Mazzucchelli for the elementary students.

Mr. David Bechard, the high school band director, said of the upcoming move, “This gives me the chance to work with individuals, or sectionals, or even the full band. I think it is going to help them [the middle school band students] grow as players, enjoy their music more, and encourage them to stick with it into high school.”

Mr. Jacob Tebbe, the director of the middle school band, also shares Mr. Bechard’s enthusiasm. “I am excited about the opportunity for my middle schoolers to get used to the high school band room in hopes that more and more of them will continue to sign up for band, especially since they will know the space.”

Mr. Tebbe is also greatly looking forward to being able to collaborate with Mr. Bechard more often. “And, I get to hang with Mr. Bechard a lot more!” he said.

While the mood seems to be generally positive, some concerns about the transition have emerged.

“One of my biggest concerns is trying to find room for storage for duplicate instruments that we might have, as well as comfortable storage for instruments students use every day. The middle school will also be losing my office and classroom space, as well as our musical rehearsal space,” said Mr. Tebbe.

In addition to the loss of space, there also may be some issues regarding conflicts in scheduling.

Mr. David Bechard leads a sectional in preparation for an upcoming performance.

“One of our biggest concerns is making the schedules work so that the Choir Room and Band Room are available when the middle school ensembles need to meet. Mazzucchelli will be keeping their scheduling the same. This will mean that we might get classes of band playing loudly next to classes of choir at the same time, or it may cause some interruptions to the gatherings and jam sessions that we’ve grown accustomed to… which, we have been able to stagger in the past,” said Mr. Bechard.

Despite the challenges that may occur, the leaders of the music programs are enthusiastic about the future that this change will help create.

“We know it is going to be a huge change, but I feel that with the strong teachers we have in Mr. Bechard, Mr. Behnke, Ms. Timmerman, Mrs. Murphy, and myself, we will do our best to make this a positive change and continue to make music a priority in our students’ lives,” Mr. Tebbe concluded.