"American Bandstand’ rocks | VailDaily.com

"American Bandstand’ rocks

Cindy Ramunno
Eagle Valley Middle School band teacher Tommy Dodge and his Eighth Grade students are putting on an American Bandstand concert at the middle school Monday, October 28.

Wandering into the middle school’s band room is like entering a typical young teen’s bedroom. Posters of the Dave Matthews Band, Kurt Cobain and Kidrock hang on the walls, mixed with football and hockey posters.

Band teacher Tommy Dodge is enthusiastic and keeps young minds at the difficult task of playing a good, rockin’ tune … together. Eagle County School District spokeswoman Pam Boyd watches in amazement.

“I believe there’s a special place in heaven for band teachers,” she says.

And, more importantly, the students are enthusiastic.

“If I like something, I’ll play it; if I don’t, I won’t,” says eighth-grade flautist Summer Forsyth.

She says she definitely likes what she’s playing this year, and loves band. Friend Miranda Hicks agrees, saying “the music is more peppy and upbeat.” Saxophone player Chelsey Jones chimes in, saying “yeah, jazzier – way more fun to play.”

Percussionists Luke Dillon and Mike Rose agree the band room is an exciting place to be.

“We’re going places. Mr. Dodge has goals for us,” says Dillon. “He’s a very dedicated teacher.”

Rose encourages parents and community members to attend “American Bandstand” on the Oct. 28.

“It’s cool that we have a theme – kind of a 50s diner type of thing.” Trumpet player Hattie Higgins says students have had a say in the song list. “We get to pick a lot of our own music. We’re playing Neil Diamond, Survivor, Beach Boys and Smash Mouth.”

Fellow trumpeter Jessica Sulmeisters says she loves the fact she’s not playing classical music.

“This music is much more modern and fun to play,” she says.

The music also may be easier for parents and adults to listen to – especially when there’s Starbucks coffee and dancing. Dodge says Starbucks is donating java for the parents; other potential sponsors can call Dodge at 328-6224.

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