The new Cicely Tyson Community
School of Performing and Fine Arts will combine music with
technology. Since the new building and computers can not yet be
used by students in the Summer Band Camp Program, students are
using the resources of Digital Production Studios in East Orange
(the privately owned company of Mr. Frederick Goode, Band
Pictured above: Lloyd Tomlinson is learning how
to arrange for full marching band. The piece he is working on
will become his arrangement of The Star Spangled Banner
in 4/4 time (it's normally played in 3/4 time). Lloyd is also
learning to use the computer program, Finale 2010, which
will then print out parts for each band instrument. You'll be
able to hear his arrangement being played by the band on August
31st at the Band Camp closing ceremony.
There's no time to include this computer work in
the daytime activities, so this is how some of the advanced
students are spending their evenings this summer.
Darian Bravo works on his marching band
arrangement of Can't Hide Love by Clarence
"Skip" Scarborough, originally performed by Earth Wind
and Fire on the album Gratitude. The Band Camp students
take turns sharing the computers and equipment and look forward
to composing their own original band music in the near future.
When everyone shows up together, the tiny studio
is filled with activity and music. L-R: Lloyd Tomlinson on the
Apple laptop, Darian Bravo on the central Apple G-5, and Denzel
Thompson on the i-Mac.
This week, we also focus in on the music being
learned at Band Camp. The sheet music is produced in the computer
lab, printed out and ends up on music stands in the classroom. By
now, the students have all the music that will be used at the
start of the school year in September. The first performance as a
band will be at the Awards Ceremony for the end of Band Camp on
Each section of the band has its own problems
with the music, and each section must blend in with the other
sections when they all come together. The students take the music
home and practice individually, then have section rehearsals
before finally having a full band rehearsal.
Piece by piece, section by section, the music
starts to draw the students together as they begin thinking and
acting like a band.
The rehearsal video shows the band is still a
little rough around the edges, but as the director Frederick
Goode points out, they need to hear where the problems are in
order to work on them and improve. The piece being played is
"Never Can Say Good-Bye," arranged for marching band by
the director and students.
Back to the Drumline! The students are no longer
playing on desktops and are so loud that they have to rehearse
separately from the band unless they are playing outdoors. But
that's OK, as long as it all comes together by the end of the
Under the guidance of alumnus Rasheem Franklin, the drumline
works as a separate unit for the present. Unlike the band, which
can practice sitting down, the drumline needs to practice
standing and actually marching in time to their own beats.