Rossview Band of Pride and Perfect Pitch
By Siera Millard
Picture from the Rossview Band of Pride Facebook
If there is one thing in this world that everyone can agree on...it is that music is just plain awesome. Classical, rock, classic rock, country, alternative, Christian, Spanish. You name it and there are millions of songs for each genre. Now, I’m not sure if you know this, but we have our very own source of outstanding music right here at Rossview. Band! I want to assure you that this is not just some elective class; rather, it is one stepping stone in some students path to musical genius and for others it is one period a day and a couple concerts a year that they can make music and have fun. For you, the Rossview band offers a chance to listen to live music, free and available to you right here in our very own theater.
In fact, there are technically four Rossview high school bands: jazz band, marching band, symphonic band, and wind ensemble. This year is one of record-breaking numbers. Symphonic band alone has ninety students and had to be split between two class periods. Wind ensemble has thirty-nine. There are even fifteen non-band students who participate in the other groups such as the jazz band. With a growing school population, there was bound to be a growing band boom. While this is fantastic for the future of the band program and for the arts, like any program it faces its financial burdens and often sells things like candy, chocolate, donut vouchers, and the like. So next time you are looking for a treat and have some extra cash lying around...ask the band kids!
The director of this band is Mr. Brock Cobb, incidentally married to the middle school band director. Mr. Cobb obtained his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from APSU in 2003 and his Masters of Music Education in 2008. Although having taught at Rossview for an astounding twelve years, he also taught at Northwest and North Drive Middle School in Hopkinsville. Mr. Cobb, though claiming a cheesy answer, says that his favorite part about being a band director is the kids, “The whole point of the job is to share a passion for music with the kids in the band….When a kid has been working so hard to perform and they experience success, that’s the best.” This is particularly prominent when Mr. Cobb shared this moment: “The band qualified [this year] for the TN Bandmasters Sweepstakes award, which recognizes bands that excel in both marching band and concert band.” He claimed to be “over the moon,” not hard to believe when he stated that this would be the first time a CMCSS school had qualified for this award. “To be the first on something like that,” he said, “to set the standard and make school history, is pretty special.” However, life is not without its drawbacks. During his time in Hopkinsville, Mr. Cobb grew frustrated when his suggestions as the assistant director were disregarded. He learned “that part of being successful is listening to those around you, especially to those with more experience than you.” This is a wise lesson for anyone, in any profession. When asked what he has learned from directing, he proclaimed, “Patience. I had to learn a long time ago that no everyone is as super gung-ho about music as I am….My goals have changed from having the best band around to having a band in which each student loves music, and will continue to love music even after graduation.” A truly inspiring ideology. Mr. Cobb believes that the band will be able to achieve and invitation to the Music for All Concert Festival in 2027, a highly honored prestige. With such a dedicated and impassioned leader, it is not hard to believe alongside him.
There is no better testament as to what band is like than from the students who participate in it. Eleventh grader Olivia Voldarski is a clarinet player of almost six years and currently enrolled in the wind ensemble. An impressive musician, she was accepted into the Curb Youth Symphony. With this feat she said she was able to be “surrounded by people who share the love of music,” whereas in high school band the passion may not be as strong. She has participating in many of the bands offered here including the symphonic, wind ensemble, and marching band. Although thoroughly enjoying the marching band and all it had to offer, due to a tight schedule of difficult classes, she was unable to continue with the commitment. Ms. Voldarski plans on dedicating her life to music and pursuing a degree in music performance or technology. Staying on her current path, she is sure to achieve this goal and more.
Twelfth grader John Kim, has also been a clarinet player, for seven years. He says his love of music and the sharing of ideas and techniques within the band have kept him playing for so long. Things found easily among the music stands in the band classroom. Not only does he play the clarinet, but Mr. Kim is also a very talented cellist. When asked for a memorable experience he shared the time he auditioned for the honored MTSBOA Mid-State honor band. “I remember auditioning for cello and my palms [were] very sweaty as I waited for my number to be called. This was my first music audition ever and I wanted to try my best.” Also serving time in symphonic, wind ensemble, and marching band, Mr. Kim “enjoyed meeting new people and learning new styles of playing.” About the more challenging course of the wind ensemble he says, “Wind ensemble is slightly harder than symphonic band, but I really enjoy the music we play and I wanted to better myself by joining wind ensemble.” Like Ms. Voldarski, Mr. Kim plays in other ensembles than Rossview’s due to his being a cellist. He states, “Playing in a string orchestra is different because strings require no breath as we only use our hands and fingers. Also, the repertoire is also different. String orchestras tend to ply from composer such as Mozart.” Although not planning a career in music, Mr. Kim would like to play through college, a fact that many admissions boards will surely enjoy.
Each year, the band program runs around two concerts at the school and also participates in various other events in the region. Rossview band’s next concert is THIS MAY! Please come out and support your fellow Hawks. It is free admission and all they ask is that you bring your ears to listen to aspiring young musicians. You will not regret this unique experience!