Band Buddies: Spreading music across generations

Orchestrating rehearsals, teaching the fundamentals of performing and inspiring young musicians – Band Buddies does it all.

Band Buddies is a club operated by Intermediate, Jazz and Advanced Band students that teaches aspiring musicians from CJ Morris, Collegewood and Westhoff Elementary Schools the basics of musical scales and performance. The club had its first meeting last month and has performed in one concert with many newly recruited students.

“It’s something that I look forward to, rather than looking at it negatively, [as] it does take up a lot of my time,” cabinet member junior Hannah San Gabriel said. “[Band Buddies] is honestly something to be proud of. It really helps you connect with the younger generation so that they could be better musicians in the future.”

The after-school club meets every Tuesday in the Walnut High School band room, under the supervision of Director Corey Wicks. In addition to learning the scale exercises and playing positions, the younger children also have the chance to practice full-length songs with their high school buddies.

“To me, it’s more about the process of getting to know the young kids during practice, rather than the practice itself. It’s really impactful to just play with them and make new friends. Band Buddies is a great opportunity for me to teach the kids how to play, and it’s great to have the opportunity to be a good role model for them,” senior Justin Lau said.

During the club’s first meeting, every member was paired with an elementary school student. The selections were based on the instruments they play, so that the younger children could have more specialized tutoring.

“Since I’m in charge of the check-in and registration for the club, it really gives me a chance to connect with the parents as well. It was fulfilling to hear their praise for what we do. The most memorable was probably when one of the parents [was] thanking us because she thought that it was a great idea for us to help little kids,” San Gabriel said.

The club had its first performance, Band Buddies Spring Concert, Wednesday, April 5 in the Performing Arts Center, where they showcased the pieces that they have been practicing. These songs include “Bleacher Boogie” and “The Lion King”, among others. Now, club officers are looking to include more events, like concerts at Walnut, where they can collaborate more openly.

“It’s really cool to see all of the children walk in and [realize] their dedication to music,” freshman Tim Anders said. “They’re all really young so it’s rewarding to see their interest and skill for band grow. Teaching them new things about music is always really fun because they always look really surprised and just seeing their pure reactions is the best thing in the world.”

By Ashley Liang, Staff writer
Photo by Samuel Compolongo