Band maestros lead the way for Eagle County high school music students
Eagle County CO, Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” The Battle Mountain High School Fall Music Concert is set for tonight at 7 p.m. It is free to all and will showcase the Battle Mountain High School Band, the men’s barber shop quartet and a drum-line performance, all under the direction of Aaron Wacker, Battle Mountain High School music teacher.
Wacker, tuba and piano player, is excited about the music program with 10 students currently enrolled and 30 projected from the eighth grade class at Berry Creek Middle School. Wacker joined the Battle Mountain staff during the second semester of the 2007-08 school year. He has recently completed his bachelor of music education at the University of Northern Colorado and plans on staying with the Battle Mountain High School music program.
“I plan on staying in the valley for as long as they (Brian Hester, principal and Phil Qualman, assistant principal) will have me,” Wacker said.
Wacker recently sent two of his band students to the 2008 Honor Band in Aspen. He finds his job rewarding in observing the many stages of learning how to play an instrument. “It’s great to see the students from point one, when they are frustrated at learning the music and don’t believe they will be able to play it, to the final production, when the student finishes playing the piece in front of a crowd with a smile on their face,” Wacker said.
Eagle Valley High School is planning on making an appearance again at the Christmas on Broadway on Dec. 3. The band and choir recently finished their fall concert at the Vilar Center for the Performing Arts in Beaver Creek.
Pat Sheehy is the Eagle Valley High School music teacher. Sheehy, a trumpet and piano player, is in his 19th year of teaching music at Eagle Valley High School. He graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor degree in music education and has not turned back since. Sheehy sent eight band members to the 2008 Honor Band in Aspen.
Middle school kids will find out that high school band is different in a sense that you are usually playing in front of a crowd every other week. This week, students will be learning music for the Dec. 3, Christmas on Broadway parade. Sheehy’s select choir members will travel to Mesa State College on Nov. 24.
With the experience Sheehy has with high school music students, he understands how to connect with students who are passionate about music.
“Music is an important way for students to express themselves and develop creative skills,” Sheehy said. “It is a vital part of every student’s education and it is my wish that our students understand the importance of the arts in today’s educational system.”
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