Looking on from the crowd, the students at Plaza Middle School were treated to a performance by Park Hill’s Symphonic band and Park Hill South’s Jazz Band. After listening to 3 songs and being informed about the music program at both high schools, the 6th graders were allowed to interact with the band students and were offered the opportunity to test out and play the instruments.
The reason behind the performance is to inform and encourage them to sign up for band in 7th grade, which is when the students in the Park Hill school district are finally able to participate in a band or orchestra.
“The best part about going to Plaza is how excited the kids get,” said senior trombonist Chris Burke. “Sure, some of them are just glad to get out of class, but for a few of them, it is the first experience with an instrument they may play for the rest of their lives,”
This is his second year performing for the sixth graders and first year doing it with the symphonic band (once with jazz band). The Plaza performance is one that almost all of the music department participants look forward to, including the orchestra, who also go to perform for them.
Sadly, after years of performing for them, this would be the last one the high school band partakes in. With the new districting system coming to the Park Hill School District, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will all be in one school (Plaza, Lakeview, Congress, or Walden). The responsibility of the performance will then fall on the 7th and 8th-grade bands, seeing as they will all be in the same building.
Though sad it has to come to an end, it opens up more opportunities for the 6th graders to be exposed to the music department earlier on because they will be around the older kids every day.
“I’m glad I got to share one part of my passions with them, and hopefully inspired a few of them one last time.” Burke said, preparing for a tradition to finally come to an end.
Junior Arkadeep Ghosh and Senior Chris Burke show a student how to play the trombone.