Recorded Renditions

Wanda Apperson uses a laptop to show Tracy Area High School band director Brittani Klaverkamp how her students are performing during a rehearsal last Monday for this Monday’s fall concert, which was presented to the public online. Photo / Per Peterson

Musicians at  TAHS were recorded doing their thing last week and were ‘in concert’ Monday

By Per Peterson

Tracy Area High School musicians put on their fall concert Monday, but it was by no means your ordinary show.

The band, choir and vocal jazz groups actually pre-recorded all their selections last week — the band at the high school, and the singing groups at Tracy Alliance Church — and the concert was shown virtually Monday.

Band director Brittani Klaverkamp said one of the biggest challenges for her group was choosing the repertoire. Because of health issues, Klaverkamp isn’t able to teach in person, so she decided to choose pieces that were more familiar to the students to make things a bit easier.

“Hopefully students have gained some confidence in themselves, and we are going to try rehearsing some harder pieces for the next concerts,” she said. “Each band section excels and struggles in different areas, so when we rehearsed as a full group (last) Tuesday it was really cool to see the students bring out the best in each other.”

Klaverkamp said the junior high band was not quite prepared to play for a concert. They are able to rehearse for only about one-half hour one or two times a week, and the eighth-graders, who go to school at the Veterans Memorial Center, don’t have lessons.

“When you compare this to the three 45-minute rehearsals plus weekly lessons for all seventh- and eighth-graders during a normal year, this puts us quite a bit behind schedule.  But the seventh- and eighth-graders are hard workers and their pieces are coming along. I chose not to include them on this concert because I want the students to be proud of their performance, and I want to provide the audience with the quality music I know our students are capable of producing.”

Klaverkamp said the other band students have been receptive to a different style of rehearsals this fall. With the band split up, there are fewer people on each part in each band so the students are pressured a little more to be responsible for their parts.

“It’s a lot harder to hide if you don’t know your music,” said Klaverkamp. “But they are in good spirits. I think they are just glad to be able to play as a group.”

The band pieces are called “flex band” arrangements and are split into five parts, plus percussion. This is different than a traditional concert band piece, Klaverkamp said, where they might, for example, have three different clarinet parts, two alto saxophone parts and three trumpet parts.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.