Beginning band a testament to student dedication

More than 200 proud parents and other spectators watched the North Whidbey Middle School beginning band perform last Thursday at Oak Harbor High School.

The 70-member band is composed of fifth and sixth grade students and directed by Dr. Andrew Judd.

For most students it was their first time ever performing on a stage or in front of an audience, said principal Bill Weinsheimer.

Weinsheimer thanked all the parents for attending and jokingly thanked them for enduring the first few sounds they heard coming from their children’s instruments.

“The concert went great and I am very pleased with all the students,” Judd said. “They were very well prepared.”

One of the biggest challenges is keeping students motivated, he said. One of the difficulties is that these students go to school an hour earlier to attend band class at the middle school and then take a bus back to their elementary school to start their normal school day.

For Linndsy Scheer, a fifth-grade trumpet player, last Thursday was her first performance.

“I was super scared at first, but once I started playing I really had fun,” she said. “I like the way music can move people.”

Rachael Simmons, a fifth-grade oboe player, said her interest in music came from her brothers who also played the same instrument.

“I am having so much fun playing but the only down side is that I have to get up super early, but it is super worth it,” Simmons said.

The entire beginning band program, including the transportation, is funded with levy dollars, according to school officials.

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