Canadian Brass Inspires a New Generation of Musicians
Joe and Becky Pritchard of Pritchard Music Academy are always looking for new and innovative ways to inspire their students to get excited about music. On April 16 and 17, the couple achieved this goal in an amazing way, both for their students and the entire Gaithersburg community.
While in California in January, the Pritchards attended a live performance by the Canadian Brass. “As a brass player, I have followed them for many years and have seen them live many times. I know how inspiring they are and how exciting it is to see them in concert,” said Becky Pritchard.
This week, students from eight schools in the Gaithersburg area had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work and perform with the Canadian Brass. Seventeen brass players from Quince Orchard High School (QOHS), Lakelands Park Middle School (LPMS), Rachel Carson Elementary School (RCES) and several other area schools played with the brass ensemble, while an additional 44 academy students played with the QOHS Honors Symphonic Band. The brass players are members of the three brass ensembles offered at Pritchard Music Academy.
On April 16, the students participated in a rehearsal of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” composed by J.S. Bach, with the Canadian Brass on the Kentlands Main Street pavilion green. They performed the piece together in concert on April 17 at QOHS.
Chris Hunter, an LPMS sixth grader, has played the trombone for three years. “I picked the trombone because I thought it would be cool to be able to move my instrument instead of just pushing buttons,” said Chris at the rehearsal. While he was excited about playing with the world-famous group, he admitted to some nervousness. “I’m nervous because if I mess up, it makes the Canadian Brass look bad.”
Mary of Nazareth sixth grader Jonah Mittelstadt has played the trumpet for less than two years. “I’m very excited to perform with the Canadian Brass. I have a music sheet book by them and have heard about them for a long time,” Jonah said.
Joe Poetzschke and Bradley Jones, 11th grade trumpet players from QOHS, were also eager for opportunity to play with the Canadian Brass. “I’m not nervous because I know they are better than me. There’s no competition,” Joe said.
Management and logistics for the concert were undertaken by Pritchard Festival Productions, the production company established by the Pritchards in 2011 to manage concerts and large-scale performances. In 2011, the Main Street Music Festival managed by the Pritchards staged eight weekly summer performances at the Kentlands Main Street pavilion.
The Pritchards intend to divide any profits earned from the April 17 Canadian Brass performance equally between QOHS, LPMS, RCES and a scholarship fund administered by Pritchard Music Academy.
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