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By Andi Bourne

Relating Music to All Generations


September 21, 2017

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Bassoonist Dorian Antipa plays a melody from Disney's Fantasia for SLE students. Many said they had never heard a bassoon before. After hearing several melody lines from cartoons, they realized they had.

SEELEY LAKE – Chinook Winds brought a breath of fresh air to the students and the valleys as they kicked off the official 2 Valleys Stage 2017-2018 season with their concert Sunday, Sept. 17 at Swan Valley School. The resident wind quintet of the Great Falls Symphony related music to all ages with their vast repertoire and explanation of music fundamentals.

This is not the first time the Chinook Winds have been a part of the 2VS season lineup. They closed out the 2014-2015 concert series with a concert March, 2015.

"The Chinook Winds always do an outstanding job in the schools and are especially helpful in recruiting and helping students in the band program," wrote 2VS board member Bob Green. "As we had an excellent brass quintet last year we wanted to feature more woodwind instruments this year. We always try to involve the music teacher in regard to what they feel will be most helpful to the educational needs of the students."

The Chinook Winds started their residency with informances for area students at Potomac, The Resort at Paws Up for the high schoolers, Swan Valley School and Seeley Lake Elementary.

During the informance at SLE, each musician explained their mouthpieces and how their instrument was played. They also explained unique sounds and the versatility of their instruments. Students were impressed with the different sounds that just the mouthpiece can make and roared with applause when each musician played their instruments.

The oboe and clarinet are similar in size but the clarinet has a single reed while the oboe has a double reed. While clarinetist Christopher Mothersole explained that he choose his instrument because he loves to play jazz, oboist Lauren Blackerby encouraged students to choose the oboe if "they have the courage to play a lot of solos."

Dorian Antipa plays the bassoon with the Chinook Winds. He explained the bassoon is larger so it is lower in pitch. While many students said they had never heard a bassoon before, Antipa played short melody lines from Looney Tunes and the Disney movie Fantasia which many recognized.

Flutist Norman Gonzales wowed the students by singing while he played his flute and doing percussive articulation, making his flute sound more like a percussion instrument than a flute. He put the two together and played a groovy, funky tune which impressed many of the students. He also introduced them to how high and loud the piccolo could play.

The French horn is the only brass instrument in the quintet. Madeleine Folkerts had the entire student body at SLE buzzing their lips like they would do if they played a brass instrument. She then played a very popular clip from Star Wars as an example of how the French horn is used to portray heroes in movies.

One student asked how long it took for the musicians to master their instrument.

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Oboist Lauren Blackerby holds her oboe next to Christopher Mothersole's clarinet to show how similar they look. The main difference they highlighted is the oboe has a double reed and the clarinet has a single reed. They also sound very different.

Antipa said that musicians are always working on that.

"It is a matter of taking a little bit of time every day to practice individually and work towards being able to play a little bit better every week," said Antipa. "It is a progressive sequence of events to getting to a very solid sound."

Following the large group performance, the Chinook Winds worked with the SLE band. Because the band is so small, students played their instruments with the individual quintet members in their specialty.

"It was amazing to see the progress in the short time they had," wrote 2VS Program Directory Carol Evans in an email.

Part of the funding to bring the Chinook Winds to the schools and for the Sunday concert came from a grant awarded to the Great Falls Symphony for outreach.  

The next 2VS concert is Dennis Stroughmatt L'Espirt Creole Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. at the Seeley-Swan High School auditorium.


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