Naden Band welcomes teens

The Naden Band plays for Shoreline Middle School's Grade 8 Concert Band.

The Naden Band plays for Shoreline Middle School’s Grade 8 Concert Band.

Rachel Lallouz, Staff Writer ~

Early on the morning of Friday, March 11, the Naden Band’s rehearsal building was filled with eagerly chatting teens from Shoreline Middle School’s Grade Eight Concert Band.

Students perched on the sides of the room ready to watch their musical counterparts play their instruments at the expert level.

“Not everyone has a band of this calibre in their backyard,” says Chris Leeson, a music teacher in his third year at Shoreline. “The class this year is particularly keen, so they were really excited to be here.”

Leeson, who grew up in Saskatchewan, explains that not all middle school students have the opportunity to hear a professional band perform.

“Students may not be exposed to hearing how their instrument is actually supposed to sound, so to hear them be played at this level is especially important for learning musicians,” he says.

The 20-person student band started off their trip by listening to the Naden Band play a few songs, before Conductor Lieutenant (Navy) Matthew Clark called on student volunteer Gabby Rush to conduct the Naden Band herself.

The two bands then merged, as student musicians paired up with members of the Naden Band, playing their instruments along with the professionals.

Chief Petty Officer Second Class Brayden Wise, a double bass player with the Naden Band, had the pleasure of playing alongside his son, Elijah Wise, 13, who is part of Shoreline’s Grade Eight Concert Band.

“This kind of experience is great for the kids because you never know how you’ll reach a student,” says CPO2 Wise, who was inspired to become a musician when he heard the Naden Band play in ninth Grade.

His son was quick to chime in.

“I loved listening to the music and getting to play with everyone,” he said.

After a resounding band classic “When the Saints Come Marching In”, Lt(N) Clark disclosed his own piece of advice to the novice musicians, imparted to him by his father:
“Figure out what it is that you love more than anything in the world and then run after it,” he said. “Throw everything you have into it.”

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