New band director’s instruction pays off in concert

Claudia Sandine, Perspective Editor

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The Lake Park Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony concluded their concert season Wednesday with breathtaking performances demonstrating the hard work and dedication that the new band direction brought to Lake Park.

Just this year the band program welcomed Michael Lehman to Lake Park. He has been implementing new instructional techniques into the program to improve the quality of individual and ensemble performance.

“The bands have been working hard all year, and this concert cycle is no different,” Lehman said. “In addition to daily rehearsals and lots of individual practice, the students have received clinics from (Dr. Peter Griffin), Music Department Chair at Elmhurst College and (Brian Logan), Director of Bands at Vandercook College on the music they will perform.

“The opportunity to receive expert feedback and gain new perspective is an invaluable experience when preparing for a performance,” he said.

The students in Wind Symphony and Symphonic band agree that this year they have improved immensely, and they accredit this to Lehman’s new teaching style.

“I think my ensemble playing is much better than it was in previous years,” said Wind Symphony clarinet player Grace Spieglan. “I think most people would agree, even if they haven’t improved much on an individual level, the group as a while definitely sounds more unified as well as each individual section.”

This final concert truly underlined the hard work and progress that the bands have achieved this year.

Next year, Lehman will continue to implement more strategies to make the bands at Lake Park more competitive, quality performers.

“I feel that it’s been an overall great year for wind symphony,” said Wind Symphony string bass player Anthony Rinaldi. “In comparison to last year, the group’s rehearsal ethic and etiquette has improved immensely. Rehearsals are so much more focused, and we are so much more prepared for concerts than we were in previous years.

“From the beginning of the school year to the end, we’ve made such great leaps and strides in our talent, both individually and as a group. I hope that next year will be the same, if not better,” he said.

The progress and levels of passion and commitment described by both the students and the director show the new steps that the program is making towards becoming an exceptional band.

“Without a doubt, the opportunity to combine my passion for teaching kids and my love for music is the absolute best part of being a music educator,” Lehman said. “Couple that with our students’ work ethic and our community’s support, it’s always a great day to come to work.”

The band program is currently in the beginning of its marching band season and will continue to put much time and new teaching techniques to make the ensemble more competitive and engaging for the next year.

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New band director’s instruction pays off in concert