Bandstock features Wausau West kids, Hip Pocket
USA TODAY NETWORK-WISCONSIN
WAUSAU - Prepare to be rocked by the Wausau West High School music department this weekend.
The 106 students of the band, choir and orchestra will be putting on their annual fundraiser, Bandstock, on Friday and Saturday, with a little help from the local band Hip Pocket. Hip Pocket is a 10-piece band that features four horns, three vocalists and a rhythm section. This is the first time that they will perform as a part of Bandstock. The show will be a combination of the bands playing separately and together, as well as a solo for each instrument section. Daniel Emerson, the director of the Wausau West band, said the show will! be a big production this year.
"It gives the kids a chance to perform with a touring rock band and perform with professional lighting and sound," he said. "It’s great for kids to see people who are still playing instruments and are passionate about music."
Emerson hopes working with members of Hip Pocket will encourage the students to continue with music after high school, no matter what career path they may choose. In fact, Patrick Phalen, a trumpet player for Hip Pocket, is a great example. He’s a principal at Mountain Bay Elementary School in Weston, but still keeps his passion for music alive."It’s something you can do your entire life," Phalen said. "And have fun with other people."Phalen said he’s looking forward to playing with the West band, choir and orchestra. "The best part is working with the kids, sharing the music with the kids," he said. "The kids have put a lot of work into it. They have a lot of work to show."A lot of the work students have been doing has gone into their section features, Emerson said.
"Section features are entirely student-led," he said. "They arrange, rehearse and direct the performances."
One of the students in charge of arranging a feature was junior Justin Taylor, 16. He plays drums in the school band, and he helped to arrange a feature using kitchen tools in the style of "STOMP." He also helped to arrange percussion parts in some of the music that will be featured thisweekend."I spent hours listening to songs, figuring out the rhythms to put into the music program," he said.
Taylor said that the event is an opportunity to perform with Hip Pocket this weekend is one that he’s looking forward to.
"I think it’s really unique," he said. "I’ve never heard of a high school band that gets to play with a professional band."The music featured at Bandstock will mostly be classic rock, based on what the performers thought would be best to perform."It was a combination of some of the songs students were interested in last year, and selections from Hip Pocket," Emerson said. "It’s all music people will know."Some of the featured songs will include "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5, "Africa" by Toto and "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond. Bandstock will hit the stage at 7:30 p.m.on Friday and Saturday this weekend at the Wausau West Auditorium, 1200 W. Wausau Ave. Tickets are $10 per person and are available at http://www.showtix4u.com.
Contact Going Out reporter Laura Schulte at 715-297-7532 or leschulte @gannett.com; on Twitter@schultelaura.
Members of the Wausau West percussion section rehearse their section feature for Bandstock. Justin Taylor (3rd from right) arranged the piece in the style of 'STOMP.'
LAURA SCHULTE/ USA TODAY NETWORK-WISCONSIN
"I think it’s really unique. I’ve never heard of a high school band that gets to play with a professional band."
WAUSAU WEST HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR