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Discover the most interesting happenings in ensemble music – both locally and around the world – in lively posts by Jason and our staff.

A Students’ Side-By-Side

‘If a side-by-side experience at their school with professional musicians is what Dylan and his classmates feel is most valuable to their musical development – and they’re committed enough to ask us – then I’m in!’

And indeed I was, sitting amongst the clarinets of the Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta Catholic Middle School band during a unique side-by-side concert – the first in which I’ve participated where professionals sat in the students’ ensemble rather than the other way around. Dylan Mack, whose letter to the Courier describes the project [and also quotes me], showed huge initiative in mobilizing his peers and teachers to invite local musicians to join their spring concert:

‘As a sixth-grade band member, I wanted to make connections with our middle school band and our community. We invited professional musicians to come and join our May concert. We are a Leader in Me School, so we began with the end in mind, planned the event and made a video invitation. We sent it to a few different groups. Seven musicians said yes … Anyone can make a difference; all you have to do is ask. Step up and be a leader.’

Bravo, Dylan!