UCA Band Clinic Encourages Young Performers

February 26, 2016 | Tamara Michalenko Terry

Ah, the sounds of instruments tuning. These sounds suggest something great is coming shortly thereafter, and great it was as the Upper Columbia Academy (UCA) Band Clinic participants joined to form a large band on Sabbath, Jan. 23, in Spangle, Wash., treating attendees to the finale of the participants’ time together.

For the first time, the Festival Concert was streamed live so family and friends could watch online if they were not able to join in person.

Designed for students in grades seven through 12, this biennial event gives students the opportunity to develop their technique and musicianship while performing with a much larger group than they have at home.

Dean Kravig, UCA band director, coordinates the three-day event, which also features instrument clinics presented by local professionals. Learning from professionals in these clinics helps students see what is possible on their specific instruments and learn new techniques and skills that will help them progress as musicians.

Kravig has been coordinating the UCA Band Clinic for 10 years and greatly appreciates the hard work and support from the Upper Columbia Conference schools that attend. His desire is that the Band Clinic will give students and directors a new passion for instrumental music and some new concepts that will help them develop their talents for God’s glory.

Natasha Rogers, a seventh-grader from Upper Columbia Academy Elementary School in Spangle, practiced her clarinet on her own time so she could participate in the Band Clinic. Her school doesn’t currently have a band. “The music Mr. Kravig chose was really challenging," she says, "but I enjoyed being able to play with a band.”

Students on the yearbook staff who were not part of the Band Clinic interviewed clinic participants. They found the following:

Jordyn Morgan, a trombone player from Crestview Christian School in Moses Lake, Wash., enjoyed the instrument clinics along with the food UCA provided.

Carly Haeger, a percussion player from Brewster (Wash.) Adventist Christian School in Brewster, said, “There are a lot of kids, and I get to make friends with them. Plus I get to play an instrument.”

Joelle Townsend from Palisades Christian Academy in Spokane, Wash., said, “My favorite thing about Band Clinic is learning new music.”

Miranda Neal, flute player from Lake City Junior Academy (LCJA) in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, really enjoyed meeting new people, while Emily Cornelison, also a flute player from LCJA, enjoyed learning new songs.

Michael Stacy, baritone saxophone player from Palisades Christian Academy in Spokane, Wash., appreciated having the break from school.

Allen Stafford, trumpet player from Yakima (Wash.) Adventist Christian School in Yakima, said, “My favorite part about Band Clinic is the good food and the opportunity to enjoy, play and share music.”

The UCA Band Clinic Festival Concert is available to view online at ucaa.org/live.

The next event designed especially for elementary students is the UCA Academy Day, scheduled for Thursday, April 7. To register or schedule a visit for another time, please call 509-245-3600 or email info@ucaa.org.