This year, Heights music program directors Pat Love and Dr. Kevin Strother are introducing some exciting changes in the music department. Dr. Strother shares, “Considering last year’s big victory at the Williamsburg competition and the ongoing growth in numbers in our department, we really want to focus on taking our boys abilities and music knowledge to the next level. One of the things we needed in order to do that was add a few instruments to our collection.”
He’s talking about the introduction of a new timpani and xylophone to the percussion section of both the middle school and symphonic bands. “Each year the Crescite Fund helps us make projects like this possible in our music program. A few years ago it was making sure all the 5th graders had an instrument to take home and practice. This year it’s the timpani and xylophone. Without these instruments it’s hard for our boys to understand the music they’re playing as the composer intended it,” says Pat Love.
To get an idea of what Mr. Love means, listen to this recording from a recent middle school band practice. That rumbling bass is the timpani. “Moments like that would be pretty boring and lifeless without full instrumentation. You just can’t get a sense of the excitement and emotion he (the composer) is trying to create.”
“Cool!” “Awesome.” exclaim some of the band students. Dr. Strother comments, “Even the guys who don’t play drums seem to be pretty excited with the new addition. During this year’s Christmas concert, the impact of these new instruments will be obvious because they’ll take up so much room on stage. More importantly, over time their impact will show up in the playing and musical knowledge of our students.”