The audience is motionless as the baton rises, instruments up in position, backs straighten, and the band of 50 takes a deep breath in altogether. Lights in front, and the calm before the storm is here. One, two, and begin the madness and passion of music.
The Senior Band at Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School in Orillia has had a spectacular year, performing pieces at a university level.The band travelled to Regionals, and proudly accepted a silver medal, and at Nationals they received silver again. (Though, in the hearts of all of the music students, it was a golden performance!) The Patrick Fogarty Senior Band also travelled to New York City to have a Clinician, experience the music scene in New York, see Hello Dolly on Broadway, and have dinner at the famed Birdland Jazz Club.
The Patrick Fogarty music department is a close knit group of people that share the beautiful experience of music every week. Students might sometimes feel that time drags throughout the day but certainly not in the music room. Music teacher Mr. James Hilts brings life and love into his work, and inspires every student to practice and play with heart. Before a piece of music is attempted, the meaning and emotion behind the piece is explained. This encourages everyone to let their feelings carry them through the song and to show emotion and passion when playing. Mr. Hilts does not just teach students how to play an instrument – he teaches students to feel the power of music and what that entails.
For Makiya H., the music room is, “your family, your friends, your passion, your hobby, everything you want out of your high school experience in one room.”
With junior, jazz, senior bands and music council, some students find themselves in the music room every night of the week. This is all done happily, because for many students, music is an escape, a second home, a place to feel welcomed, accepted and loved.