Fall Preview: Baltic bands combine for parade season
September 18. 2012 6:11PM
The mentality to rise to the occasion is an element of performance that Baltic band director Linda Wilke looks to instill in her players, and with marching season starting soon, the conductor hopes that she can foster an infectious desire to be a part of instrumental music.
This year’s group is smaller than last year’s, according to Wilke, at about 32 players. The director said that last year’s graduating class of 13 band member seniors, as well as a smaller underclassman crop, spurred the program to combine middle and high school for marching. “They added the middle school to give us a little more depth,” she said.
The selection the group will be playing this year is “Galeón” by Victor Lopez, a Latin-style piece that the students have really enjoyed, Wilke said.
As far as rehearsals go, the new block scheduling at Baltic has changed the dynamic, as the band meets every other day for longer periods, an adjustment that has taken some getting used to. “Sometimes that can be a little challenging,” Wilke said. “We’re working on it though.”
But with a crew that includes six seniors versus last year’s more than twice as many, Wilke looks at it as an opportunity to start anew.
“When a team loses all its seniors, they get to rebuild,” she said. “With a younger group you get kind of a fresh start.”
And through camaraderie and work ethic, Wilke hopes the group can work up a good show for competitions leading up to the Sept. 20 parade in Arlington.
She said though leadership amongst the older members is quiet, it’s still present, as the players are dedicated, committed and willing to step up.
“This senior group is the group I started when I came,” she said. “We’ve got that connection.”
By the second week of October, Wilke hopes to switch gears with the band to concert playing, with the band’s first performance in that setting scheduled for late November. With a smaller group, the conductor hopes to work wind ensemble-style, chamber repertoire.
And with contests coming up for solos and ensembles in February and large group in April, Wilke hopes that the group, which placed second in two marching events last year, can continue its trajectory of high-standard performance.
Sept. 20: Arlington
Oct. 5: Chester
Oct. 6: Augustana (Sioux Falls)
Oct. 12: Sioux Valley