Strike Up the Band Auburn Hosts Conference Clinic

Play the music and miss a few notes, or miss the music and play all of the notes." This was one of several music and life principles shared at this spring’s Washington Conference Band Clinic.

From trombone, trumpet, and tuba players, to flutists, clarinet players, and percussionists, more than 135 young musicians were eager to strike up the band.

Hosted by Auburn Adventist Academy, students from conference schools joined together with AAA's Wind Ensemble for an intensive weekend of music.

"Band Clinic is so valuable because it helps schools come together and work toward a common goal," says Wes Bradford, AAA band teacher, director and host of the clinic. “After spending two full days of intensive practice, the students not only improved on their instruments, but developed the skills of focus required to reach their goals.”

In a two-day period, students participated in 13 hours of concentrated sectional practices as well as full band rehearsals in preparation for three sacred concert performances.

"It was fun because I got to meet new people," says Cambria Mensink, a junior from Lake Tapps, Wash. "I also got to know my instrument better by being able to play music all day long."

The joint band performed for vespers and the church service at the AAA Church in addition to a packed Sabbath afternoon concert.

Music teachers Tim Cromwell (Northwest Christian School), Karyelle Nielson (Skagit Adventist School), and Doug Spencer (Puget Sound Adventist Academy) were instrumental in helping things run smoothly by assisting with sectional practices and all three performances.

“Students from small schools were able to experience what choirs and bands sound like when more students participate,” Nielson says.

Washington Conference music clinics alternate focuses each year. The next one, a chorale clinic for seventh- and eighth-grades, is scheduled for Feb. 26–28, 2009, under the direction of John Neumann, AAA vocal music director.

“It’s a neat experience to perform with a large ensemble,” says Lon Gruesbeck, Washington Conference vice president for education, “and that’s why we provide music clinics for our students. They get to socialize with other schools, improve their musical abilities, perform for proud parents and have a good time.”

With friendships established and skills sharpened, the young people enjoyed the opportunity to harmonize together for the glory of God.

April 01, 2008 / Washington Conference