Photo courtesy Kiley Coyne
Band institutes new program to encourage middle school students
THE BEAT—Junior Joselyn Rodriguez (far right) rehearses with Whittier band members during her visit to the school on Dec. 15.
Band Ambassadors visit Patrick Henry, Whittier
By Rachel Boer
Warrior band members are now participating in a program that encourages middle school students to become interested in music and fine arts.
The program is called “Band Ambassadors” and was created this year by band director Kiley Coyne and assistant director Ben Harder. Every Friday either Coyne or Harder travel to Whittier Middle School and on Wednesday’s to Patrick Henry Middle School to help with the middle school band. They also take along former graduates of the middle school to talk to the younger students about their experiences in the high school music program.
In mid-December, junior Joselyn Rodriguez traveled to Whittier as a Band Ambassador. Rodriguez was a former percussionist and orchestra student at Whittier, and spoke to students about what high school band and orchestra are like, what additional things she participates in at WHS besides music and answer questions for incoming eighth graders.
She played along in their rehearsal and pulled students aside to give some one-on-one help.
Rodriguez said she enjoyed the experience.
“Going to Whittier was a lot of fun,” Rodriguez said. “It was exciting to see all the faces that will come to WHS. It was great to be able to play with the students at Whittier and see their talents.”
Coyne said she hopes Band Ambassadors will become a valuable, long-term addition to the music program at WHS.
“We’re hoping it will help with the transition from middle school to high school,” Coyne said.