Band gets tips on playing together
Lower Moreland High band director visits class
UPPER DUBLIN » “Sit tall, feet on the floor, flutes straight across.”
The sixth-grade Sandy Run Middle School Concert Band got some tips on how to play better and play together May 18 from Lower Moreland High School director of bands Erin Stroup.
The longtime friend of Sandy Run band director Sean Kennedy, Stroup was invited as a guest conductor to provide some ensemble techniques for the sixth-grade musicians. A saxophonist, he also gave a little demo playing two saxophones at the same time.
“I came to listen to his sixth-grade band” and provide “concepts about playing together,” Stroup said before the middle-schoolers arrived for the class. “It’s a little exercise about working together as a team.
“A lot of times I listen and then comment on what I hear,” said Stroup, a twotime quarter-finalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award, grand prize winner of the Voices of Inspiration Educator Award and Music and Arts Educator of the Year nominee who lends his talent to other schools.
Stroup and Kennedy met in 1994 when both were hired for the summer to play in a rock and roll band at Dorney Park and have been close friends ever since, he said.
“I do enjoy working with middle school students,” said Stroup, a music educator in the Lower Moreland Visiting conductor Erin Stroup provides tips on working as a team during Sandy Run sixth-grade band class. School District for 20 years.
Stroup, who holds a master’s degree in music education from the Philadelphia University of the Arts as well as a post educational leadership degree, said he learned the “playing techniques” from several composers with whom he has worked.
“I pass on what I learned from my mentors over the past 20 years,” said the saxophonist, clinician, conductor, educator, composer and married father of four.
After listening to Kennedy’s students play “Nighthawk,” Stroup embarked on his lesson, urging the students to correct their posture and do things to work together.
“It’s harder to play softly,” he said. “Find where you sound the best and don’t pass it, ever.”
Erin Stroup plays two saxophones at the same time for Sandy Run sixth-grade band class.