A Beat Behind

Some students are just now getting a start into music classes with no prior experience

Senior Danae Greig began this year school year stressed. She enrolled in band, but she didn’t play an instrument. She didn’t even know which instrument she wanted to play. Yet, despite her initial hesitation, Greig realized people around her in band help create a positive environment, making her more comfortable.
“It helped that there were many people willing to help in band. [They were] open to new people,” Greig said. “People who know what they’re doing were ready to jump in and help when I didn’t know how to read music.”

Danae Greig, Senior

Greig joined choir during middle school without giving thought to band. Before high school began, she quit choir to focus on athletics, but she says if she had considered it before, she would have done band.
“If I could go back, I think that [I would be] more outgoing,” Greig said. “I could have gotten farther [in band].”
Greig says her inspiration for joining band was attending the WAHS ensemble and jazz band’s concert at Albany City Hall. She hopes to continue music after high school.

Freshman Cadence

says that when he first began band, it was difficult due to being new to the class. He first began percussion due to friends being in the class, but he says being in band gives him something to work towards.

Cadence Schuerger, Freshman

“It was difficult because [I wasn’t] as good as some of the other people there. People will judge you based on that,” Schuerger said. “It took a while to warm up to the people and how things work. It was definitely hard.”
Cadence said he didn’t want to dedicate his time to a specific instrument, but wanted to join band instead. Cadence’s inspiration for band began when he saw some of the school’s band perform. While Cadence Schuerger is a part of A capella choir, he has no band experience prior to this .

For Garrett Boren, joining A Capella during sophomore year was a way of dealing with life. “I joined because [singing] is my version of a coping mechanism,” said Boren. “I started singing in seventh grade because, you know, it’s seventh grade, and I liked doing it. I joined because I’ve always liked music and my mom thought I was really good at it and I really wanted to.”
As Boren began A Capella without knowing any music theory at all, he had a rough start. “On the first day, we got a piece of music. What is this?” questioned Boren. “I was like, you want me to read all of this?”

Garrett Boren, Sophomore

Eventually, however, Boren caught up with his more trained peers.“Well, with everyone around me, I would listen to what they were singing, and then matched what they were singing,” said Boren. “The guy sitting next to me, I just sang what he sang. He had a better idea of what we were doing, so I followed along.”
Boren learned not only music theory and sheet reading, but also how to get along with people. “I’m generally not typically the most social person,” said Boren. “Usually, when I talk to someone, I’m kind of quiet. With choir, it’s probably the loudest class, with the most people in it, in the entire school. And throughout the year, I got better at socializing. I learned to like people more.”

With other classes like science and math, the only people held accountable in the class is the student, Boren explained. “In choir, there are other people you can rely on, to help you. It’s a more positive environment than there would be for normal academic classes.”
“It really teaches you good teamwork,” said Boren. “Going forward, I want to improve my [singing] technique and make myself better in the language of music.”

Bobae Kim, Sophomore

When sophomore Bobae Kim joined A capella this year, he knew he did not want to stick to the known.
“In private school, I didn’t really have any options to do things. It was very restricted to PE,” said Kim. “I felt like doing something different.” He knew people in A capella who enjoyed it, so joining seemed like it could be fun.
It was rough starting out, as Kim had no previous experience with the activity. “There was this one practice where I did not hit any of my notes correctly!”said Kim.
The best part about A capella is the moment when they perform and the countless hours of hard work finally pay off.
“Every time we perform, it’s a wonderful experience. It’s an amazing feeling to see everybody’s faces light up as we change dynamics or when we do something crazy,” said Kim. “I just want to do as much as I can, and the most I can to persue it.”