Grade 7: Chamber Musicians Perform

Since January, band musicians have worked in two small groups on a chamber music unit culminating in final presentations this week. “Chamber music is orchestra on a smaller scale, so each musician has to perform more independently,” explains Dan Hazlett, band teacher. Students worked together to select and rehearse a piece of music as well as prepare and present facts about the composer.

In a group of five that featured the saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, flute and percussion, one ensemble performed “March for Military Band” by Beethoven, who was almost completely deaf when he composed the piece. “It was really rewarding to work on this piece,” shares Wells Hatcher (7). “We had to rely on each person and it taught us to work together. I think it’s astounding that Beethoven wrote this when he was deaf because you usually have to hear music to write music.”
The second ensemble featured seven musicians playing flute, trumpet, trombone, saxophone and percussion. They selected “Poco Loco” by contemporary composer and music educator, Bruce Pearson. Some of their takeaways were learning to play without a conductor and deciding how to balance the music so no one instrument drowned out the others.
“This was a huge project and I’m proud of how you grew into rehearsing independently,” Mr. Hazlett shared with the groups. “I think you learned that it’s impossible to hide in a small ensemble. Each of you had to step up and play your part.”

Graland Country Day School

55 CLERMONT STREET    DENVER, CO 80220    303.399.0390   
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.