Music and the arts are an essential part of life and who we are as a BFA Fairfax community. This month, I asked Mr. Wallace and Ms. Maynard to share some thoughts on our music program this year. I hope you will join me in thanking them (and all of our music and choral students!) for their adaptability, and for their willingness and dedication to keep music in all of our lives.
This year has seen the BFA Band program doing its utmost to be flexible and adaptive while still providing our young musicians with fun, engaging, and challenging rehearsals, working on repertoire ranging from Wind Ensemble standards to cool Bossa Novas, Frere Jacques to Star Wars, and all points between and beyond! Thanks to the support and accommodation of our admin team, the parents of band students, and our colleagues in other subject areas, we’ve been able to roll with the many different punches this year has thrown at us, developing myriad new schedules and finding as many ways to rehearse as possible. Most impressive throughout this process has been the way our students have continually stepped up and put in the effort they needed to, whether on Zoom, before school, or in their own practice time; without their effort, we wouldn’t have been able to find anything like the success we’ve achieved.
With all that said, the BIG NEWS, as many of you have likely heard, is that this month we’ve begun working in more and more in-person rehearsing! While taking all the necessary precautions to do so safely, we’ve been able to get nearly all of our instrumentalists back in the band room for at least one sectional. I can’t begin to express the joy and relief I’ve felt in finally having students making music TOGETHER, the way it’s meant to be made…and what’s even more rewarding is seeing the obvious joy our young musicians are feeling!
Looking ahead, we’re exploring options for our end of the year concert; the hope is that we might just be able to get the whole band back together for an outdoor, in-person recording session to craft a video performance for the Spring Concert (scheduled for June 3rd). Unfortunately, the concert itself will likely have no in-person audience, but we’re extremely excited to be working with BFA Chorus program to do something a little different for this show. Without giving away too much, I’ll just say that we’re entitling it, “BFA Music presents…A Night Among the Stars.” – Mr. Wallace
Ms. Maynard shares the following about Chorus:
As I think about our BFA Chorus students this year, a particular memory comes to mind. One morning, at the beginning of chorus rehearsal, one of our singers wrote a quote on the board that has become our mantra: “We’ll make it work…we always do!” This statement embodies the attitude and perseverance of our music students this year. Whatever has been thrown at them, whether it was singing outside while snowing, humming our parts when inside the building, playing choir chimes and Boomwhackers, or spending tons of time tapping out sight reading rhythms with drumsticks, chorus members have kept the music going. Singers have continued to participate in “normal” activities such as auditioning for All State, even when we’re not sure what being selected will look like. They have been very good at keeping the focus on what we can do and what the future can hold for us.
As you may know, we recently were given permission to sing inside the building with safety precautions. The singers were so thrilled on the first day that we were able to sing together again (with lyrics and not humming) that they laughed and literally jumped up and down for joy. It was a moment that I will always carry in my heart as a reminder to never take for granted what means the most to us.
We have been spending our time learning new pieces for our upcoming concert which will definitely be a “star-studded” event. In addition to our concert pieces, we’ve been working on a piece from the musical, “Dear Evan Hansen”. We’ve got folk songs, a song from a movie, and even a Hall and Oates tune. Not all of it will make the concert but we are having a blast, even taking student requests to pull pieces from past years to JUST SING!
We look forward to our upcoming concert on June 3rd. Stay tuned for more information!
As the old saying goes, “If you can talk, you can sing; if you can walk, you can dance.” I am so grateful for all of our musicians for just rolling with it this year and continuing to make music. And thank you to our music staff for continuing to support our musicians and singers to find joy and make music despite all of the tribulations of this year. And, I look forward to our upcoming performances!
…and speaking of performing arts, please remember that this weekend is the premier Help Desk!
Please read this note from the directing team of Help Desk:
We are so excited to perform our newest (virtually) LIVE show, Help Desk, this Friday and Saturday. Our cast is excited and READY! We are hoping for great audiences so we hope you are spreading the word to friends and family!
Show Times: Friday 7:00pm and Saturday 2:00pm and 7:00pm
Please visit the BFA Dramatic Arts Ensemble website to access all the Zoom webinar links to our show.
The show is entirely free. If you feel inclined to donate, visit our Donations page and support one of the theater organizations there. The pandemic has been hard on live theater and many could use your support.
While you are looking around our website, be sure to visit the Virtual Performance page to meet our cast members as well as the (More) Sponsors page to see the many businesses supporting our productions.
I hope you will enjoy our performances and please have a restful and recharging April Break!
Justin Brown is the Principal at BFA Fairfax Middle School. He is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY. You can follow him on Twitter @jbrownenator.