Students Rock On with Ensemble
As is the case with many schools, Saint Peter’s offers traditional band instruction during the school year. There is, however, another band offering which is a bit less conventional, and that comes in the form of the “Ensemble” program.
Back in 2015, Saint Peter’s choir director and music teacher Mr. Peter Nguyen came up with the idea of creating a band jam session that would allow students to play an alternate style of music in a group setting. Ensemble was born from that concept.
“The ensemble group was formed to offer students, who play instruments that are not traditionally found in a school band, a chance to play along with others,” said Nguyen.
Ensemble is offered two quarters out of the school year for students in grades 3 through 8. All that is needed to participate is a willingness to learn and a desire to play as part of a musical team. Included instruments are guitars, basses, keyboards, drums, and vocals. The program has proven to be a success, with repeat faces often returning for each session and students showing steady improvement, and increased confidence along the way.
On October 26, the fall Ensemble session concluded with a one hour concert held in Saint Peter’s Parish Hall. Mr. Nguyen was joined onstage by five student musicians who alternated performing a mix of six different rock/pop songs that were chosen collectively by the entire troupe. Student guitarist and vocalist Marin Cobo said, “Ensemble is really welcoming and feels like home. It is a great environment to play music with your friends.”
The entire group joined together for a finale which was the highlight of the afternoon. The impressive performance by the band had audience members on their feet and clapping with the rhythm!