Play It AgainThrough a recent SEF grant, the LCJSMS band was able to commission a new work by the acclaimed band composer, Brian Balmages.Check out what teacher Michelle Brick had to say about the SEF Grant that led to the piece you are currently listening to.Read on below, you won't be disappointed! These kids are doing cool things!"The process of commissioning an original piece of art or music can be a process that can take many years. It begins with an idea and then over time evolves into the finished work. When the current freshman class was in the sixth grade we began focusing on multi-cultural music. The students enjoyed learning to play the music of other countries and each chose music from our multi-cultural concert to research on and present. They learned to describe the music they were playing and were able to make connections between different cultures. They also followed up by researching the composers of these pieces.
I saw a true interest in learning multi-cultural music and thought I would try to take it a step further by applying for an SEF grant for commissioning an original band work. The students loved the idea and were soon busy brainstorming ideas for music. Of all of the music they had studied they really loved the percussive sound of African music and wanted to have their commissioned work reflect that culture’s music. Once the theme of the song was decided on the students narrowed down some of their favorite composers and eventually chose Brian Balmages as the composer they wanted for our piece.I reached out to Mr. Balmages and he was very happy to accept the commission and began the process of composing the piece. Although the students did not have a hand in actually writing the piece, they did come up with the theme, requested certain instrumentation and even suggested specific sections to be featured. Mr. Balmages customized the piece to our ensemble and the end result was Jungle Dance, a fun, upbeat, song featuring our percussion section." - Michelle Brick