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Band ensembles offered paid shows outside of school

By Dayun Keum
Published: October 2010

Over the past few years, the symphonic band at South has received numerous requests from the community to perform at special events. Previously, there was no official system in place to determine which members would get to play. This year, however, band director Lisa Linde plans to create small “on-call ensembles that will be available to play whenever a group is requested to perform.

Within the next month, she will hold auditions for band members and select around two ensembles to be on call. Linde, who received at least ten requests for student performances last year from places such as the Atrium and Chestnut Hill Malls, always tries to accommodate these requests.

“Students will gain a number of benefits: the experience of walking into a new situation and dealing with new people is a valuable opportunity to be able to interact professionally with adults outside of South. Students will learn about their responsibilities throughout these experiences, Linde said. “South will also benefit from being an organization that reaches out to the public, and the people making the request will benefit by having access to live music that is excellent quality but will not charge what a professional adult musicians might charge.

By participating in these special performances outside of school, the band members gain not only musical experience, but also monetary compensation. According to Linde, the exposure that students receive as a group may also earn them paying jobs in the future, something that has often happened in the past. They will also have the opportunity to promote their ensemble.

For senior and band member Melanie Rucinski, however, sharing her love of music is more important than the paycheck.

 “[Getting paid] is nice for us, but I would still do it if I didn’t get paid, she said. “I feel better about doing it without payment because feeling like I’m sharing something with the community just for the sake of sharing it is really nice¦ we’re not doing this to get paid; we’re doing it to play music.

In any case, students who participate in band are excited about the opportunity the on-call ensembles will afford them.

“Chamber groups are a great way to involve myself in music ­­outside of school, sophomore and band member Elena Byun said. “Working in a smaller group requires different skills, and I know that developing them will help make me a better musician¦ I’m really looking forward to seeing and hearing what me and other classmates’ chamber groups will have put together [next month].
“I’m of the firm belief that playing chamber music is the best way to improve as a player, both solo and orchestral, Rucinski said. “It’s a good experience to go out and play for people, and I don’t think we get that a lot.

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