Former Students Get Junior School Swinging

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by Tim, Grade 10 percussionist in the Swing Band

On November 29th, 30 keen Senior Swing Band students accompanied Mr. Reid to the SMUS Junior School to perform in the annual Meet the Instruments concert. Playing for curious young students, who are eager to learn about and listen to the music, was an amazing experience for all, but for a few of us, such as me, it meant a whole lot more.

Ten years ago, five-year old me sat in the same concert, but on the receiving end. Witnessing Mr. Reid’s concerts when I attended the Junior School was an incredible event, and it is what enticed me to start playing the drums, and music in general. I distinctly remember watching with great interest the percussionists as they kept the beat, and laughing at Mr. Reid’s rendition of “Jingle Bells” played on a trumpet mouthpiece.

I would have never imagined at that time that in ten years, my position would be reversed, and that I’d be the one playing the music. During those ten years, my love for music grew. As I began to take drum, vocal and piano lessons, I knew that music would become a major part of who I am. Coming back to the Junior School last month revived countless memories, previously hidden by time and a busy life.

“I would have never imagined at that time that in ten years, my position would be reversed, and that I’d be the one playing the music.”

Seeing the young students and playing music for them at the Junior School was especially accented by my previous time spent at that school. By playing my music, I could perhaps ignite the passion for music in some of those students, much as the previous bands and Mr. Reid did for me.

Music is such an amazing part of life; I believe that everyone should have music in their lives. The wide range of instruments, genres, and styles means that there is something for everyone. Music provides a means to show emotion and express oneself through song.

When I was one of the young students looking on at the band, my passion for music was only a pile of brush, waiting for a spark to ignite it. The Swing Band concerts became that spark. Spreading the love of music is the least I can do to repay those who gave me mine. This is what makes this concert so incredibly special, both for those who play and for those who listen.

by Joe, Grade 10 guitarist in the Swing Band
It seems so long since I sat in the front row on the cold, yet comfortable, floor of the Junior School gymnasium. In anticipation, I waited for what the Swing Band had to offer. Eyes wide, and full of wonder, I stared at the gleaming brass, intriguing woodwinds and the incredible variety of percussion. I was completely mystified at how this vast array of beautiful works of art could be manipulated, to form such wonderful sounds. This, I’m sure, was the case for every student in the Junior School when Mr. Reid and his Swing Band came to play for us. They would sweep in, completely professionally, set up, and in no time fill the whole school with beautiful melodies. In short, the Meet the Instruments day was always one to remember.

For six years I keenly sat in the audience watching the performances, then I came to Middle School. I missed the Swing Band for that three years of my life, but now that I am in Grade 10, it has become one of the most exciting parts of every week. Rehearsals are always conducted in a very organized fashion, which makes the whole thing very pleasurable. The Meet the Instruments day last week was similar to the ones I had seen, except now I was being watched, instead of watching.

“I pondered what I had just done. No great feat, however I had become what I once saw as so out of reach.”

Whenever the Swing Band plays for the Junior School, Mr. Reid calls up different instruments from every section. To begin, he speaks about the instruments, and then the students play short melodies. Enjoying what he was saying, I was quite surprised to hear him say my name. I stood up, fiddled around for a few seconds, and sat back down. It was short, but sweet. As Mr. Reid finished displaying the percussion section to the students, I pondered what I had just done. No great feat, however I had become what I once saw as so out of reach, above and beyond what my small, linear mind could comprehend!

It is wonderful for one to become part of something that they have looked on to, and truly admired, so I want to thank the Swing Band for giving me something to very much look forward to during my six years at the Junior School, as well as something to enjoy during my years here at the Senior School! It’s been a pleasure playing with you all!

Download pictures of the Swing Band’s visit from the SMUS photo gallery!

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