This was one of the articles I sent in for publication to the Dickinson County News-Times in spring 2019. The article’s format has been adapted for the web below, and I have recently edited it to more accurately follow the style of The Associated Press.
CMS students make music at Tabor
After three weeks of hard work and diligence in music rehearsals, 76 band students from Chapman Middle School had the opportunity to perform at the Tabor College Band Festival on Jan. 17. These students joined with peers from other schools on that day to rehearse and participate in an afternoon performance. In just a few weeks, they had learned and fine-tuned four pieces for this event.
Representing Chapman at the festival were 44 sixth graders and 32 seventh graders as the festival was created for first- and second-year instrumentalists. They were accompanied by helper students from Chapman High School and CMS/CHS band director Guillermo Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said he had been excited to find out that Shawn Knopp from Tabor College was offering a program for his younger students.
“This is a special time because students grow very quickly,” Rodriguez said, “and the fundamentals learned during this time are crucial.” Rodriguez hoped that his students would not only benefit from the guidance of collegiate professionals but also from interactions with other students during the festival. In total, there were 305 students in attendance from schools including Bluestem, Chapman, Clay Center, Hillsboro, and Little River.
Rodriguez hoped his students would “build camaraderie with the other musicians at this festival. With band, no matter your background, as long as you play your part, you can cross many barriers and create music. This festival is a great example of this.”