Congratulations to the Highlander Marching Band on their first place finish in their class at the TOB Region 8 Championship at Penn-Trafford High School on Saturday. The band finished with a score of 85.20, winning caption awards for High Music, High Visual, High General Effect, High Percussion, and High Auxiliary. Additionally, the colorguard was awarded the second highest auxiliary score in the entire competition. Well done Highlanders and congratulations on a great competitive season!
The Sound of Music is coming to HMS! A parent meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 26, at 7:00 in the HMS auditorium. Interested students should plan to attend an audition rehearsal on November 10 and auditions on November 14 and 15. Contact Mrs. Hawk at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
The combined bands of HMS, with help from a few members of the Highlander Marching Band, cheered on the Baldwin 7th and 8th grade football teams at their games at BHS on Wednesday, October 19.
Jonny Priano is a music educator at the Wilmington Area School District in western Pennsylvania where he leads four choirs at the high school and middle school levels. He earned a Master of Music Performance degree in Choral Conducting and Voice from Youngstown State University in 2014 where he studied conducting with Dr. Hae-Jong Lee and voice with Dr. Allan Mosher. Jonny also earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Grove City College in 2007, graduating Cum Laude with High Honors in Music. Jonny has received commissions from choirs across the United States and his music has enjoyed performances in Europe, Asia, Australia, and most recently South Africa. His choral music is published through Alfred Music and Colla Voce Music. In 2013, he was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to compose a choral piece that was performed by a 2,000-member choir in the inaugural Music for the Spirit Festival. Jonny has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as a member of the Professional Core for the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and is the pianist at New Life Baptist Church. He resides in western Pennsylvania with his wife, Ashley.
“My dreams of teaching music and composing began in Mr. Tranter’s classroom at Baldwin High School. I had never considered going into music until Mr. Tranter provided me with my first opportunity to accompany a choir. This experience provided a perspective into what the choir classroom looks like from the other side and helped me to quickly choose a career path. My earliest experiments in composition were also forged in the high school chorus room as Mr. Tranter taught me about the standard chords contained in each key. During my time in the Baldwinaires, I fell in love with our a cappella choral repertoire. The sonorities of these pieces, particularly Morten Lauridsen’s ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ left a huge impression on me and helped me to find my compositional voice several years later. Simply put, I would not be who I am today without the strong influence of the choral program at Baldwin High School.”
Over 100 Baldwin Band Alumni took part in our second biennual Alumni Band Night, with over 70 performers taking the field for a pre-game performance with the current Highlander Band. Thanks to all who participated! Please help us spread the word about future events and add to our alumni mailing list...visit http://hsband.bwmusic.net/alumni.html.
The Harrison Middle School Band and Choir are preparing to join the HMS football team and cheerleaders in a school-wide celebration of school spirit next week. The choir is preparing a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, to be performed at Wednesday's football game. The HMS Bands are also hard at work preparing stand tunes to pep up the crowd. See below for some pictures of our students hard at work, as well as a video of the band preparing.
Note: Our periodic Alumni Spotlight segment will highlight a Highlander Music Program alumnus of note. In our first installment, we highlight Ryan Meyer, music educator in the Hampton Township School District and Baldwin HS Alumnus, Class of 2011.
Tell us briefly about who you are and how music is a part of your current daily life.
I am in my second year of teaching orchestra and choir at Hampton Middle School and Hampton High School in Hampton Township School District in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. Music is an incredibly important part of my professional and personal lives. I play music, listen to music, and think about music every day inside and outside of work.
How were you first introduced to music?
My uncle played football at Shippensburg University, and as a small child we used to go to many games there to see him play. I don’t remember the games particularly well, but my mom always told me how excited I would get listening to the marching band at those games. With that in mind, I always seemed to have a strong attraction to and interest in music. Then in third grade, I was presented with the opportunity to play a string instrumental at Baldwin, which turned out to be a significant catalyst in my life.
Tell us about a person/event that was particularly influential to you in your growth as a musician?
Participating in my first PMEA District Orchestra was an influential experience for me when I was in high school. Being surrounded by other students who loved music and playing with an ensemble at a higher level than I ever had before was certainly something that made an impression on me, and led to my seeking out similar opportunities.
I remember the first piece we played through and rehearsed at that district orchestra was the Brahms Academic Festival Overture. Then, coincidentally, my first semester of college, the first piece I played with the Penn State Philharmonic was Brahms Symphony No. 1. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that Brahms is the composer who has possibly had the biggest impact and influence on me.
What did you gain from your study of music at BWSD that has had a positive impact on your career? On you as a person?
My experience in the music program at BWSD was a significant contributing factor in my great fortunes of getting to study music at Penn State and subsequently getting to teach music at Hampton. In reflecting back, the greatest thing I acquired from studying and participating in music at Baldwin was the curiosity the program fostered in me to know more about and experience more music. Fortunately, I was able to satisfy a great deal of my musical curiosities by being involved in a variety of instrumental and choral ensembles during my time in BWSD.
Music at every level I have participated in has also given me the opportunity to meet so many great people, some of whom are my best friends. My involvement in the music program at Baldwin was no exception. Now I’m lucky enough to call some of those friends, colleagues. All in all, studying music has had a positive impact on my personal and professional lives, and I owe BWSD a great deal of thanks in starting me on my way.
Why is it important to study music?
It has always given me immense joy to participate in music through playing, listening, composing, teaching, and conversing about music. In addition to the sheer aesthetic power and beauty of music, it helps us better understand ourselves, our neighbors, and the world around us. It is an integral part of so many aspects of human life and the human experience. In short, it is a constant part of our world and unequivocally makes human life better. For these reasons, I believe every person deserves to study music and have their musicianship cultivated.
Music has also taught me the lesson that if you work hard, you can achieve excellence. I think especially in high school; students develop a detrimental ‘fixed mindset’ in which they convince themselves they could never be ‘good enough’ or as good as someone they admire, no matter how hard they work. On the contrary, my experiences as a music student and now teacher have taught me that anything is possible if you commit yourself to a goal and work your hardest to achieve it.
It was a busy weekend for the Highlander Marching Band with three performances. On Friday, the band performed at the Baldwin vs. Connellsville football game, persevering through a steady down pour and cheering on the Highlanders to victory. The band put forth one of their best football game performances of the year, despite the weather conditions.
On Saturday, the Highlander Band started their day with a morning rehearsal/walk-through, then traveled to Deer Lakes High School to participate in their first ever PIMBA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Marching Band Association) Competition. The band finished second in their class with a score of 77.43 and won an award for Achievement in High Music.
Next, the band traveled to Woodland Hills to perform in the Woodland Hills Tournament of Bands Competition. Despite missing their warm-up due to some travel complications, the band did an outstanding job, winning their class with a score of 81.75.
The Highlander Band will perform this week at the 2016 Homecoming Bonfire, as well as at Friday's game. They will take Saturday off as they rest and prepare for their final Saturday show, the 2016 TOB Chapter Championships on October 22 at Penn-Trafford HS.