With the completion of the Performing Arts & Community Center in the fall, the past several months have been a particularly rich time for the performing arts at Gill St. Bernard’s. Most recently, we checked in with our two bands, new to the school this year.
The symphonic band is comprised of fourth- and fifth-grade students, and the jazz band consists of students from sixth through 12th grade. For the past few weeks, the symphonic band has been practicing after school three times a week, while the jazz band has been meeting once a week.
“The completion of the new PACC was the perfect opportunity to seed a full instrumental music program at Gill,” said lead instructor Joe DeVico. “Our goal is to start with the fourth and fifth grade and let them continue to grow as musicians through Upper School while adding a new group of fourth grade students each year until we have a full program. Both Head of School Sid Rowell and Performing Arts Chair Paul Canada thought it would be an excellent addition to the already outstanding vocal music and theater program in place here at Gill.”
Through hard work and many practice sessions, DeVico has seen vast improvements in his players. The improvements have not only come from his knowledge and guidance, but from students helping one another as well. The musicians look to put on a great performance for their first-ever band concert at the PACC on May 7 at 7:00 p.m. The bands will then perform for the three divisions at assemblies the following week.
“All of the students seem very excited to be part of something new here at Gill,” said DeVico. “While some of the Upper School students are a bit nervous about playing in front of their peers for the first time, all of them are having a lot of fun and learning a lot about both the music and each other. I'm looking forward to sharing their talents with both the Gill community and their family and friends come spring.”
Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a rigorous, meaningful and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.