Wingspan came together, with the exception of one additional band member this year, as part of the Londonderry School’s 5th-8th grade band program. Under the direction of IIM’s Programs Manager and instructor, Habiba Miller, the band rehearsed once a week throughout the latter half of last school year.
Although Immersed In Music is an independent organization and not a Londonderry School program, the fact that we rent space from the school and have a number of their students active in our program encourages an easy, ongoing relationship.
These musicians had so much fun playing together, Habiba suggested that they enroll as a group for this year’s Rockers program. Wingspan is comprised of Yusuf on vocals, Evan on guitar, Aiden on keys, Paige on bass, and Alex and Jonathan trading off on drums and guitar.
They started by putting together “Dani California,” by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and moved on to add “Boys,“ by The Beatles and “Love Her Madly,” by The Doors. They love jamming together and often break out into one spontaneous song or another. They have also moved through the challenges of how that can throw them off track, and how communication is key to bringing focus back to their goals as a band.
Recently, they have taken on the challenging task of writing an original song. Yusuf and Evan both have some experience with this and are spearheading this effort.
Our staff is excited to watch the growth of this band, because they are all such talented musicians and have enormous potential.
Meanwhile, also on Tuesdays, The Bucket Brigade is this year’s Drum Ensemble. Under the direction of Wade Corbin, this group is quietly becoming perhaps the biggest success out of all the years he has led the Ensemble. Well, “quietly” in a slow building way, not in a volume way!
This year’s ensemble is made up of Michael and Luis from previous years, along with Thomas, Evan, and Eli, all newcomers to IIM. Their name is taken from the fact that they are using only inverted plastic buckets and drum sticks as their performance instruments.
Their concentration on creating complex and intricate rhythms, all while integrating interactions among the five musicians, is fascinating to watch, as well as to listen to. It is truly an experience that must be seen and heard in order to appreciate what these students are accomplishing!