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Band gets into 'Groove'

Staff writer

Hillsboro High School band has turned a need to work on rhythm into an unusual and entertaining performance that gets all band members out of their seats.

The band will debut its performance of “30 Gallon Groove” at halftime of the football team’s homecoming game against Sterling Friday. The band will play the piece, which was written to be played on trashcans, on their classroom chairs.

Band director Lynn Just chose the piece to give band members practice with advanced rhythms while still having fun.

“I’ve never picked up sticks before,” clarinet player Ashlyn Simmons said. “It’s really hard.”

Regardless of the difficulty, she said it was fun to play something other than the same old songs, and it has improved her rhythm.

“I know I’m better at it now,” she said.

The students have made wonderful improvements since the piece was introduced, Just said.

“I think they ought to do well,” she said.

The band decided to use classroom chairs instead of trashcans because finding enough metal trashcans would have been too difficult, Just said. Band members quickly discovered that the different surfaces of their chairs produced different sounds.

For the halftime performance the band will be divided into three sections playing different rhythms. Student teacher Sean Boller and band aide Darren Enns are assisting with rehearsals.

Parts of rehearsals have focused on putting on a good show in addition to playing the music correctly.

The project hasn’t introduced as many new skills for percussionists, but the change of pace is welcome.

“It’s kind of out of the ordinary,” percussionist Jordan Riggs said. “It’s cool to get everybody involved. They’re doing really good, I think.”

Last modified Sept. 15, 2010

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