Student musicians rehearse, perform with Dallas Brass

Nearly 90 band students from Marshalltown Schools took the stage with the Dallas Brass Saturday, April 13, during their performance in the MHS/Community Auditorium.

Many of the students had spent the morning at small group/ensemble contest, but hurried back to Marshalltown to perform with the world-renowned brass ensemble.

“We’ve had some incredible clinics in the past with guest artists with the Community Concert Series and for the kids to interact with professionals that are performers and some of them educators is just a great opportunity for our kids to experience right here in our own school,” said Bret Lee, director of bands for MHS.

Music education and student outreach is important to the Dallas Brass and they regularly hold clinics for high school and middle school students.

“One of their driving passions is getting kids involved with performances,” said Bill Fitzgerald with Live On Stage Marshalltown, formerly the Community Concert Association.

The group performed in the MHS/Community Auditorium in 2010 during the auditorium’s 25 anniversary celebration. That show also featured Simon Estes and the Iowa State University Wind Ensemble. During that performance MHS students also joined the group on stage for a special performance.

“It was good to hear from professionals teaching us to play more musically and what to do in a more professional setting,” said MHS tenor saxophone player Dylan Hutzel.

Several middle school students also had a chance to participate. Also one student from BCLUW middle school.

“When Mr. Lee came to me and asked if we could use a few middle school students in the performance I jumped on that chance as it is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said middle school band director Sarah Baldus. “It’s always a good thing to have different directors in front of the students just so they are exposed to different styles of teaching.”

The students played a 10-minute medley to a near full house and received two of the evening’s seven standing ovations.

“It was a huge hit,” Fitzgerald said. “They did a fantastic job.”