Playing for Laughs

By Annika Olson, Current Staff

Leah Duckert has put together an unusual twist for the upcoming West Bend High Schools band concert next week.

Duckert, the band’s director, has planned for various district staff members to perform a unique piece alongside the WBHS band at their winter concert, which will be held 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Silver Lining Arts Center.

“The piece is meant to be a novelty piece, to give the audience some laughs,” Duckert said. “It features a few faculty ‘soloists’ who are good at schtick, but maybe not so good at music. That’s the basis of the piece.”

In Duckert’s 17 years of teaching in the district, this concept has not been done before. A notable aspect to this piece is the appearance of a few staff members with little musical experience who will be performing humorous routines. Adding in this comedic bit makes this concert unlike any previous ones by including an entertaining spin on an already interesting idea of incorporating faculty.

“The piece is meant to give the audience some laughs.”
– Leah Duckert, WBHS band director

“Our students love finding out that they have music in common with some of their core teachers, and they are really excited to be able to perform with them,” Duckert said.

The staff members partaking in the concert, other than the soloists, played instruments throughout their high school career, all with varying skill levels. Therefore, this concert is an opportunity for these teachers to perform if they have not had the chance to in years.

“It’s really a neat experience to have the students and the faculty come together in this way,” said Valerie Fountain, a West math teacher who will be playing the trumpet at this upcoming concert.

Along with that, the Wind Ensemble will also be performing with electronic sounds and will be playing with a prerecorded tape. This is also a new experience added to anything previously done by the students.

(Top image:  The WBHS Symphonic Band practices Thursday under the direction of Corey Murphy. Photo by Annika Olson, Current Staff.)

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