Closing the Gap In Our "Music Niche"
Posted 09/18/2019 07:00AM

Between the Fine Arts Festival, mini-concertettes in the Courtyard, and our Spring Concert, Antilles' Director of Bands Brandon Reburn offers his students time for composing, practicing, and actually playing their instruments. 

But there is still a gap he is hoping to fill: adding music to school spirit and athletic events, which, as a former marching band leader and teacher, is close to his heart.

"The addition of music to these events closes the gap in our music niche - on campus, the students are not generally creating or performing music they listen to in their everyday lives and when we are talking about inspiring musicians or advocating for music programs, that could be a really powerful tool," Brandon said.

Not to mention, it offers opportunities for student leadership, including teaching music or conducting an ensemble. 

As a solution, Brandon is the process of helping to roll out a Pep Band, which can also represent Antilles at events throughout the community, and starting a Chapter of Tri-M, an International Honor Society for band members that cultivates student leaders responsible for helping with concerts, generating performance ideas, and helping the program across all ensembles.

A general standard among successful band programs, Tri-M currently has more than 6,200 chapters worldwide and is the only music honor society for 6th-12th grade students. Additionally, the organization is incorporated into the National Association for Music Education and the Music Educators National Convention, both of which advocate for music education and the development of both music educators and students. 

And with the number of students opting to stay in band higher than usual this year, consistent development of the program is not only a goal for Brandon, but the school. 

"Figuring out how I can meet everyday with my 6th-8th grade students, offering a year-long option for jazz, adding Advanced Placement music theory and even an intermediate Upper School band are all things we look forward to exploring," he said. "Where there is interest, it is important that we fuel it and give students who intend on continuing in the music industry beyond high school every chance to succeed." 

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