Middle and high school band students in Roxbury had a special guest on Wednesday morning for a Google Meet which was truly a unique experience virtually for the entire band program.
Band students held a Google Meet with Staff Sergeant Michael Ducassoux of the United States Marine Corps, who is currently serving as a Recording Engineer with “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. SSgt Ducassoux’s post is in the Marine Band Recording Lab, where his primary job is recording various Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra concerts and sessions and providing sound reinforcement for performances. In addition, they are responsible for the recording studio and the preservation of the band’s recorded archive collections.
“Ssgt Ducassoux spoke to us for about 45 minutes and covered topics including a brief history of The Marine Band, his role in the organization, his background, what kinds of opportunities are available in the music and recording industry at large, and how the performing arts are currently being affected and will be affected in the future by the current state of the world. In the end, we opened up the Google Meet to a Q&A session,” shared 7th grade Band Director Greg Boccuti.
Adding, “Ssgt Duccasoux talked to us about the recent virtual band project that he just finished working on with “The President’s Own”, which is the same type of project that we are working on with all of our bands.”
A virtual band project is where each musician submits a video recording of themselves playing their part to a piece of music, played along to a click track through headphones. An audio engineer then takes all of those recordings, synchronizes them, mixes, edits, and masters them, and then puts all of the videos together to create a “virtual performance”. Here is the most recent release on their YouTube channel. All of the video and audio that you see and hear was done with smartphone cameras.
“Since we are working on a project just like this with all of our bands grades 7-12, it was quite interesting to hear Ssgt Duccasoux’s experience about the production of this video,” said Boccuti.
Including students that entered late or had to leave early, there were approximately 80 band students grade 7-12 from Roxbury High School and Eisenhower Middle School, and grade 5-6 band students from Lincoln/Roosevelt School watching over a private live stream.
“This was a team effort from the 5-12 band staff including Jeff Conrad, Sarah Bednarcik, Ryan Sweer, Shannon Perrone, Kate Katz, Tim Orton, and Andrew Denburg who helped me get this Google Meet put together for the kids,” said Boccuti.
“I also want to extend a big thank you to our building principals for allowing our kids to participate in this really unique experience!”