Simley Band Trips

Simley Band Travels to Learn and Play
Posted on 04/20/2018
Simley Band members visited Hawaii to learn about the state's music as well as the country's history.The Simley High School band represented the school locally and nationally this spring. Students learned more about music in Hawaii and Moorehead’s Day of Percussion, and they showed what they have learned at the National Parkinson’s Walk and a Minnesota Vixens game halftime show. The community is also invited to see what the band members have learned at their upcoming concert on May 21. The concert will celebrate the 2018 seniors as they prepare for graduation, but the concert will also serve as a farewell to Simley Band Director, Rufino Ochoada, as he retires at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

In March, some of the band members traveled to Hawaii. They experienced a different culture, learned about Polynesian music, and made new high school friends and lifelong memories. Students were able to experience an important part of history at Pearl Harbor. At the Polynesian Center, Mr. Ochoada was chosen out of the crowd to drum with the locals. After displaying his musical talents on stage, strangers approached him for the rest of the day to tell him how well he did.

About a week later, nine percussionists headed up to Morehead, Minn., to attend the Day of Percussion, featuring Dr. Julie Hill, co-director of Percussion Studies at the University of Tennessee - Martin. The students participated in drumming circles, learned new techniques for percussion instruments, and experienced Brazilian drumming and culture. They also saw performances by Bernie Dresel, a former drummer for the Brian Setzer Orchestra, and percussion ensembles with marimbas and other percussion instruments from all over the world. During the drumming circle, Dr. Hill recognized Rob Skoglund and actively recruited him to audition at UTM. After auditioning for Dr. Hill and her co-director Dr. Shane Jones, Rob was offered a scholarship for the Percussion Program at UTM.

In May. the drum line demonstrated what they have been learning and practicing all year. Students started the Twin Cities Moving Day walk for Parkinson’s and ended the day performing in the Minnesota Vixens halftime show.

The community is invited to attend the Simley Band’s year-end concert of the year on May 21 at 7:00 PM in the Simley High School Performing Arts Center, 2920 80th Street East. Not only will the concert celebrate band students graduating this June, it will be an opportunity to say farewell to Simley Band Director, Mr. Ochoada. He will retire at the end of the 2017-2018 school year after 22 years bringing unforgettable experiences to Simley’s students and community.