By Alexa Garcia
The 6th annual kaleidoscope concert occurred in the BFAC on Wed., Dec. 9 to showcase musicians at Batavia High School. This concert included performances from the band, choir, orchestra, and small ensemble groups. For this concert, musical groups from Batavia High School prepared holiday music to perform together. Each group prepared one or two songs, and the whole music program prepared one song to play together in the finale.
Throughout this production process, Chris Owen acts as the producer of this show because there are two band directors and none of the other groups have more than one director. To prepare for this concert, everyone had a dress rehearsal during school on Tuesday to make sure everything ran smoothly for the real thing.
About six years ago, the idea of a concert with all high school musicians included became popular. As Batavia music directors saw this evolving at other schools, they decided this could be a cool idea. Owen was not a teacher at Batavia High School when they decided to start putting together this concert but he is aware of how it came to fruition.
“They did a concert in December and then decided that it would be a really cool event to do with everyone involved in the whole music department instead of just a band, choir, and an orchestra concert,” Owen said. “We thought that would be a really cool idea to put together”
Various groups prepare for this concert in different ways, and some need more preparation time than others. The Batavia music program directors must pay close attention to multiple things in order to run this concert smoothly.
“This year I conducted wind symphony and their tune but every year it’s a different group. I normally do one of the tunes and Mr.Van Kley does 2 and then we also pick some small ensembles and work with them so i did a brass group we had a flute choir and their was a jazz combo that mr vanclay worked with so i kind of helped the depart came plan for every thing and kind of acked as a producer for the dress rehearsal and for the concert just like a regular old teacher get to conduct”
“In October we did a band concert and you just have to train your students how to get on stage and off stage (and) where to sit. For this one we have to make sure no two groups have the same student in them because if they do they wouldn’t be able to get to where they have to go. Do we have enough light and amplification on everyone that makes sense,” Owens said. “No two groups can perform at the same side of the stage one right after the other so the choirs usually perform on the aprons and some groups perform on the balcony. If a group is performing on the balcony underneath it will be distracting…We start planning for this concert in September just because ‘Hey, what do we want to do how long is each concert piece is going to be so it’s not like we accidentally have an hour and a half of music but it’s only supposed to be about 65 minutes of music.’”
Owen says his favorite thing about being a band director is being able to see his students grow up every day throughout high school.
“When you come into this school as a ninth grader I’m going to be your band director for four years and so I get to see you grow up and mature. I think that’s really fun to watch but it’s also cool. I would imagine it’s always good for students to have one teacher that they always get to know and so we get to build a good sense of trust and reform.”