• Feb. 27, 2017
    Fort Couch instrumentalists hone their craft

    Dr. John Seybert Fort Couch Middle School musicians will participate in three upcoming Saturday instrumental music camps. The camps are new additions to the middle school’s band program.

    Dr. John Seybert, director of bands for Fort Couch Middle School and Eisenhower Elementary School, sees the camps as an additional opportunity for middle school students to focus on their performance in band.

    “The Honors Camp schedule includes opportunities for individual, small group, and large group instruction,” Dr. Seybert said. “This dedicated time provides numerous benefits to advance individual as well as the ensemble's level of performance.”

    The initiative kicked-off on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, with an Honors Symphonic Winds Camp. Paul Gerlach, director of bands at Carnegie Mellon University, served as guest conductor as the students prepared for their performance at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Festival in March.

    In addition, Ronald J. Heid, percussion director at Grove City College and Seton Hill University, and Mr. Karl Priore, band director in the Kiski Area School District, will assist the woodwind, brass and percussion sectionals.

    “The guest conductors provide another musical perspective for our students. All of our clinicians and conductors have years of teaching and performing experience,” Dr. Seybert said. “This provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about their particular instrument and as an ensemble.”

    Another Honors Symphonic Winds Camp is set for Saturday, March 11, and a Jazz Band Camp will follow on Saturday, March 25, led by Mike Tomaro, director of jazz studies at Duquesne University.

    Dr. Seybert, who joined the district’s faculty this year, recently served as the guest conductor for the PMEA District 2 Jazz Festival and will participate in the Wind Ensemble Festival as a guest soloist and saxophone clinician March 16-18. He is scheduled to present at the PMEA State Conference as well as the Oklahoma City Symposium on the History of Music Education later this spring.