IMD travels to Cincinatti and Louisville on yearly Tour

From airplanes to tour buses, from Hollywood to Louisville, quite a bit has changed for the Cleveland Heights High Instrumental Music Department from last year’s tour to this year’s. But as both the band directors and the students will testify, the fun was still there.

Each year, students from the department’s two upper groups travel to new destinations where they participate in a number of activities, including clinics and concerts.

This year, the band took a rather small tour, but still had a great time.

“For a smaller tour, it was one of the best we’ve done,” said band Director Brett Baker. After the extravagance of last year’s tour to California, the band, and its budget, decided it was time for a break. This year, it traded the west coast for stops in Cincinnati and Louisville, KY.

Baker and fellow Director, Daniel Heim, who conducts the orchestra, were pleased with the outcome of the trip. “It was a great balance of work and play,” Heim said.

And according to Baker, “Students really seemed to enjoy the learning part of the tour, and the fun part of it.”

The directors agreed that the tour can be an effective educational resource for students. The clinics provide a comfortable, yet focused environment for both of the groups to work on their music under the instruction of college level music directors.

For students, the exchange concert provides an opportunity for them to evaluate themselves. Hearing the kind of music that other high school musicians play is a useful way to gauge one’s own ability, and to determine what one can improve on.

“It was really good to get a second opinion on our work,” said sophomore Linnea Fox.

Heim commented on the musical aspects of tour, saying: “It gives everybody a sense that there’s something you can improve on, and that there’s always a way to take music to the next level.”

But tour isn’t just about education. This year’s tour also featured several other activities in the two cities, including a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo, a visit to the Louisville Slugger baseball bat museum, and most prominently, a dinner-dance on a riverboat ride down the Ohio River.

The activities not only kept students preoccupied, but also kept them all having a good time.

“Tour is always great,” said junior Caitlyn McGaugh, “every year the trip is a lot of fun, and this year was no exception.”

Senior Seth Dumm, known for his love of the English language, put things into perspective: “It was totes-ma-goats. In all seriousness, it was seriously awesome.”

The band directors stressed how tour is not just clinics and concerts, but is also a time to be with your friends, and a time to acquaint yourself with people you don’t know so well, including the directors themselves.

“Up in front of the class, we’re all business,” said Baker. “There’s not much opportunity to really get to know anybody. On tour, you really bond with the kids, and otherwise, we wouldn’t have that opportunity.”

Both directors say that the tour was a positive experience for all involved.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it next year,” Heim said, “whether it’s something far away, or just right around the corner.”

Read More on The Black & Gold: Heights High
Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 9:12 AM, 06.03.2010