Salyards MS band invites composer to commission original piece

October 3, 2019

Composer and music educator Randall Standridge works with Salyards Middle School Symphonic Winds students to write an original piece of music on Sept. 24. Standridge spent Sept. 23-27 at Salyards working with students.
Composer and music educator Randall Standridge works with Salyards Middle School Symphonic Winds students to write an original piece of music on Sept. 24. Standridge spent Sept. 23-27 at Salyards working with students.

Oct. 3, 2019—Composer and music educator Randall Standridge spent Sept. 23-27 at Salyards Middle School working with the school’s Symphonic Winds students to commission an original piece of music for the band’s winter concert.

In February, Salyards head band director Joe Glass saw a Facebook post from Standridge inviting schools to sign up for his composer in residency program. The program would allow Standridge to work with students for a week to create an original piece of music specifically for the school. Salyards and Glass had worked with Standridge in the past through his online consortium program. Glass decided the residency program would provide a great opportunity for his students.

 “I’ve always wanted to commission a piece of music dedicated to Salyards,” Glass said. “The chance to bring a composer into the school to work with students was a unique opportunity and a wonderful experience for all involved.”

At the beginning of the week, Standridge and students brainstormed ideas for the piece. Tuesday-Thursday Standridge brought in sketch ideas for the piece, like the one pictured.
At the beginning of the week, Standridge and students brainstormed ideas for the piece. Tuesday-Thursday Standridge brought in sketch ideas for the piece, like the one pictured.

At the beginning of the week, Standridge and students brainstormed ideas for the piece. Tuesday-Thursday Standridge brought in sketch ideas for the piece and after sight-reading the drafts, Standridge and students revised and edited the piece. On Friday, Standridge and the students made final edits, recorded the piece and named it “Siege” to reflect their original “drums of war” concept.

“I think this was a great outlet for students to get creative,” Glass said. “One thing Mr. Standridge encourages is sharing ideas. Whether or not the ideas are good or bad, you still work through them. Working with Mr. Standridge introduced students to creating music. This gave them an opening to a world of possibilities.”

Salyards’ Symphonic Winds band will perform their original piece “Siege” at their winter concert on Dec. 16 at Bridgeland High School.

Randall Standridge instructs Salyards Middle School Symphonic Winds students during a warm-up exercise on Sept. 24. Standridge took student ideas to help write an original piece of music. Students ultimately named the piece “Siege” to reflect their original “drums of war” concept.
Randall Standridge instructs Salyards Middle School Symphonic Winds students during a warm-up exercise on Sept. 24. Standridge took student ideas to help write an original piece of music. Students ultimately named the piece “Siege” to reflect their original “drums of war” concept.

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