Following the group’s finale, representatives from NSO’s Education Programming held a masterclass for band and percussion students. “We promoted that we will be out in your neighborhood this week,” explained Emily Heckel, “so if you want a masterclass, sectionals, or private lessons, we will be happy to come by.”
French Hornist Robert Rearden worked with woodwinds and brass players on technique, breathing exercises, and perfecting pitch. Despite having over 30 student musicians, Rearden was able to effectively provide individual feedback and maximize the overall impact of the masterclass on the musicians.
Across the hall in the band room, Joseph Connell held a separate masterclass with the percussionists on the keyboard and the snare drum. He taught scale drills, exercises, and snare technique to the group of eager students. “It’s good to connect their hometown symphony orchestra with what they see in their schools.” Heckel said, “All of the musicians here today started in their high school band. I think it’s a good way to get musicians back to schools. They know what kind of instruction these students the need.” The band began showing progress by the end of the masterclass. Many of the students showed a renewed excitement to begin incorporating what they learned into their future practices.