Story and photos by John Sorensen – WILMOT, Wis. January 23, 2020 – On Wednesday, January 22 more than sixty music students from the grade schools feeding into Wilmot Union High School participated in the Wilmot-area middle school honors band.
Students from Lakewood, Randall, Riverview, Trevor-Wilmot and Wheatland Center schools rehearsed for six hours and performed in concert under the direction of guest clinician Richard Tengowski.
Tengowski, a veteran, music educator from Kohler, Wisconsin had nothing but praises for the student musicians. He said the way they worked together, took direction and showed improvement throughout the day makes these students a model for society as a whole.
The students performed four musical selections: Drive by Mark Williams, The Pit and the Pendulum by Michael Story, Celtic Air and Dance by Michael Sweeney and African Marching Song by John O’Reilly.
While the day was filled with music making, Tengowski also took time to explain to the students how these pieces of music came to be. The Pit and the Pendulum, based on the 1842 Edgar Allen Poe short story of the same name, offers the listener an opportunity, through music, to experience this very intense story.
“Making these types of connections, across the curriculum, is one of the most satisfying aspects of being a music teacher,” Tengowski said.
The directors from the middle schools involved are Luke Moyer at Lakewood, Mallory Friske at Riverview, Jennifer Vanderloop and David Dvorak at Randall, Maddie Weirick at Trevor-Wilmot and Zach Wendt at Wheatland Center.
“Honors band is a great opportunity for some of our advanced musicians to be challenged in a different way,” Weirick said. “I love that our students have the chance to work with peers from other schools who share their same passion and drive to become an excellent musician.”
Parents said they appreciate the hard work put in by all the directors to provide this opportunity for their student musician and think the concert sounded amazing.
Many of the students said the experience was so fun and they can’t wait to be part of honors band next year. Mr. Tengowski made the day a fantastic experience for these students.
“Wilmot High School is very happy to host, support and be an iatrical part of events like this,” commented Wilmot band director John Sorensen. “Getting to know these young students makes for a seamless transition as they prepare to enter high school.”
The students will meet again on April 4 for the ninth annual Wilmot Band Festival where over 700 musicians, 4th through 12th grades will perform together at Wilmot Union High School.
For more information about the music programs at any of these schools please contact their music teachers directly.