AF Jr High Summer Band

posted Jun 28, 2013, 1:25 PM by Danielle Dinkelman   [ updated Jun 28, 2013, 2:01 PM ]
Wow! What a great experience I had this week in American Fork! Anyone involved in music in Utah knows that the American Fork music programs have a reputation of being some of the best. This week I saw a glimpse of what keeps the tradition going.

The brand new beginning band students from three junior highs all gathered for three weeks to participate in the Summer Band program. Each group of instruments was tutored by a specialist on their instrument for an hour each day. I was invited to fill in for the trombone instructor for just the last three days and the final concert. I was very impressed at how much these kids had learned about playing trombone in such a short amount of time.

At the concert today, each group of beginners played a song or two for their family and friends there at the AF High School Auditorium. After the beginners, there was a joint Jr High Intermediate band that had been rehearsing these last few weeks as well. Anne Boyer directed them beautifully. I was pleasantly surprised by their mature sound and overall performance for such a young group.
After the concert was "over", there was a surprise encore by the American Fork High School Marching Band. Now granted, the sound of a drum line cadence seems to always bring me to tears, but I really was blown away by this band. 250
 strong, the drum line and horn sections were phenomenal. They looked sharp and they played perfectly. My personal favorite was their selection of The Music Man's "76 Trombones". Wonder why :)

I walked away from that program feeling grateful to have been a small part of promoting the wonderful musical culture of this part of Utah valley. It also made me wonder how we can foster this sort of enthusiasm for music in the Southern Utah Valley. I definitely think that summer band programs like this are a great place to start. These kids are well prepared to begin their band experience. Not only that, they were exposed to some great examples of where music will take them in the coming years. 

Thank you American Fork, for a great experience!

~Danielle Dinkelman