West Band goes Virtual 


Isabel Farley-Gillay

West Band Virtual Concert

Isabel Farley-Gillay, Reporter

 The week before shut down, the West Middle School Band Students were gearing up for their most stunning performance ever. Then on the day that they were supposed to rattle the stars,  Michigan schools closed. Then school was canceled for the rest of the year. Doing playing tests out of everyone’s favorite band book was getting boring, so Mrs. Farmer, the band director,  decided to do something that has never been done in west band history. The West Band would perform in a Virtual Band Concert!

This is a pretty big project, and it seems a little hard to pull off, but the band students are up to the challenge. Mrs.Farmer states that “Each band student video records only his/her own part to the piece.  They must wear headphones and play along in sync to a pre-recorded audio track.  This is how everyone can play the same tempo just as they would in a normal band concert where they can hear each other. Everyone sends in their recording to the teacher. The teacher uses audio software which can mix many tracks together into one big band!”

When the final recording is out, every band student will be on the screen so you can see everyone. This is especially good because all of the kids in the back row can finally be seen. Racia George says that “When I first thought about the virtual concert, I didn’t like the idea of recording it on electronics because there’s so much pressure of getting the timing and everything else right. I miss seeing my friends and being in the band room or choir room before the concert to get ready but that’s okay it’s better than nothing”. This is a very interesting experience and it has definitely taken some getting used to. 

This concert is going to be a lot harder than just a regular in-person concert. Way more prep work has gone into this concert, “Hours and hours but it’s worth it.  This is really something unique and special.  It’s like getting a super special souvenir of the COVID era.  Today’s band students might want to show this to their children and grandchildren someday.  Like an artifact of a special moment in history!  Not many people get that chance.  We are lucky!” states Mrs.Farmer. 

 The 6th graders will be playing Legend of the Irish Giant by Edward Kenny. The 7th graders are going to play Atlantis Overture. The 8th graders are going to play something. 

This is also the last year of band for the 8th graders. Raica Geroge and 8th grader at West stated, “Indeed I’m disappointed that school is canceled, I mean this is going to be my last year at west. After this year I won’t get to see all my friends in the same place, and I was really hoping to have our band concerts. We all practice real hard and it was coming up until school got canceled”. It is quite bittersweet as most of the 8th graders in band would play at the 8th-grade graduation. 

It was very disappointing for the school year to be canceled right before the concert. Lexi Greene expressed, “I’m kind of disappointed but I also know that it was the right choice and I’m really sad we couldn’t play all our songs at a real concert but again I know it was the right thing to do to cancel school”. All of the students are very excited and the band students will continue to rattle the stars.