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Red Clay Ramblers visit Pollard Middle School band students

Posted Saturday, May 10, 2014

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Pittsboro, NC - Margaret B. Pollard Middle School eighth grade band students received a wonderful surprise Friday, April 4, during their regular band class. Michele Reams, Pollard director had invited The Red Clay Ramblers to join her class, in order to share their music and skills. The musical group wowed the kids with their rendition of “Cotton Eyed Joe,” followed by instrumental warm ups, breathing and metronome exercises, and each group listened attentively to each other. One of the many highlights included student trumpet player, Christopher Keesor being asked to join the group on a piece.

Jack Herrick, artistic director, shared a little history of group: “The Red Clay Ramblers are a Chatham County based string band that has been in existence since the late 1970s. We've toured in over 30 countries, including good will tours for the U.S. State Department. We have around 15 albums to our credit, as well as movie scores, musicals, ballet and symphony performances.”

“We were delighted to do a class with Ms. Reams' very talented and attentive eighth grade band students. We exchanged performances in a "battle of the bands" with Red Clay Ramblers sitting in with the eighth grade band, and even had one very talented trumpet player join us for a song. We then rehearsed a high school level band arrangement with the students. We're grateful to Ms. Reams for providing us this opportunity, and look forward to following the progress of her students as they continue their playing careers.”

According to Ms. Reams, “This opportunity allowed the students to get up close and personal with these amazing performers. The interaction with the students was excellent! The kids were hanging on every note and word. It was very obvious that these gentlemen loved playing their instruments, singing and sharing music with others. I want our young musicians to see themselves making music on their instruments for the rest of their lives and not see it as something they do just when they are in school.”

Several students commented on the experience. Jasmine Wilkie liked the non -traditional band instruments—“They brought along a little pump organ, and even let me play it during a break.” Emily Darnell added, “I liked seeing some instruments I’ve never seen before being played right in front of me.” Shannon Brennan shared a recurring comment “I thought it was really cool to play music with professional musicians.” Jordan Gorry sums up Ms. Reams’ main objective, “I really enjoyed them coming and giving us inspiration to keep working hard at what we do!”

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Red Clay Ramblers visit Pollard Middle School band students
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