Joining Freshman Band Provides Inclusion For All

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by Sarah Thiel, Erica Little, and Brooklyn Lemieux – Guest Writers

Freshman Erica Little is just one of the many freshman students who has found a place to belong by joining the band.
“As a freshman this year, walking into the band room on the first day of school was like walking into a whole new world. I was overcome with excitement towards what was to come in the next four years in terms of music theory and skill. Music has been a significant part of my life since I started on clarinet in 6th grade, and it has only become a bigger part of my life since switching to the tenor saxophone at the end of 7th grade. Being able to say that I am a member of the Kentlake Band Program is amazing. You get dozens of high energy pieces of music for Pep Band, as well as a wide variety of Concert Band pieces.” Said Little.
Little outlined a bit of what the being a member of the concert band looks like. She said the routine basically includes students arriving at the band room where they begin by putting their instruments together, warming up, and then tuning their instruments. Band instructor Jonathan Urmenita (JU to many students) works with the band and individuals to help perfect the music they have… and cracks jokes. At the end of class, students pack up and head to their next class.
Freshman Maddy Kimmet is happy to have a teacher who is so knowledgeable about his subject. She said, “My personal experiences in freshman band, I play alto saxophone, so I was really excited to have a teacher who knows so much about my instrument in Mr. Urmenita. A lot of people think that he is going to be loud and get mad at you if you do something wrong but he doesn’t. As long as you do your best he is okay with that.”
Students in band classes also get the opportunity to play in the pep band and play for sporting events. They arrive at the sporting event to help set up and play songs during the breaks of the games. During the third quarter, the pep band takes a break and then returns to the stands in the fourth quarter for the end of the game.
Freshman Jacob Rogers said, “As a freshmen percussionist in pep band, it is extremely fun. There are many things that are very fun about pep band, but some of the highlights are going to football and basketball games to play at those. Most importantly are the songs, they are very fun to play and if you know them then it is very easy to get the groove of the music and it becomes very fun.”
Ultimately joining band gives students the opportunity to feel a sense of belonging as they arrive at school as a freshman and throughout a student’s four years. Band provides a wealth of opportunities.
“Concert band, Symphonic band, Wind ensemble, pep band, jazz band, travel for football games and basketball games and the big Victoria trip. All these opportunities’ in one program, all these amazing memories you will make in this one program. Freshmen year is difficult but so worth it, I can’t wait to spend the next four years in the Kentlake band program.” Said freshman Brooklynn Le Mieux.
Freshman Sarah Thiel said, “Band is something different than anything else available at Kentlake. I found that band in high school is so much more interesting and fun than before. In middle school, we only did 1 or 2 field trips that were a very big deal. Here, the pep band plays out of school all the time, and there are away playoff games, along with contest’s, mostly because JU likes to win. There are so many more opportunities open to you at KLB. All in all, staying with band is one of the best decisions I have made.”

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