Making Music Together

Most people are aware that making music brings people together, but not everyone knows the ideal depth of how it brings people together. The Tribe of Indians Band at CHS is currently preparing for the Music Performance Assessment (MPA) at the beginning of March at the University of  North Alabama. While during preparing for the judged performance, different guest teachers have been by to talk and work with Mr. Tyler and the band. The music that the Tribe of Indians Concert Band will be performing is New Forest March by Johnnie Vinson, Pevensey Castle by Robert Sheldon and Quintus by Larry Clark.


“Music brings people together and when talking with music teachers, we all have the same goal, which is to help the students become better musicians. Many teachers, retired or current, have the pleasure to help students regardless of bands. I reached out to veteran teachers to see if they can give some insight for the students and for myself and we got some great responses.”  says Mr. Tyler.


The first guest teacher was Bob Reinlie, Former Band Director in the Shoals area, who came and worked with the details to make the performance better. Mr. Reinlie did not know any of the students at CHS, but he has the same passion as Mr. Tyler, which is to make the students better musicians one step at a time. The students had an open mind about what Mr. Reinlie was asking of them and well as changing some stuff that they were currently doing. Mr. Reinlie was able to bring in some insight into the styles and balance of the music which are some American pieces and some come from British composers. Mr. Tyler mentions that as a young teacher, it is amazing to get insight from experts and people who have more experience in the music. He used to work with small bands, so this was a comfort zone for Mr. Reinlie.


The second guest teacher was Dr, Phil Bonds. Dr. Bonds is now the saxophone professor at UNA but was once the band director at Cherokee High School back in the ’80s. Mr. Tyler, mentions that it was great to have him around in the band hall and help the students. The students enjoyed being taught from a man that used to work at the school and teach students just like them in that band hall. Dr. Bonds helped the students with balance as well and was able to really connect with the group. He helped focus with the group with articulations in the music to match the style that it needed to be. When Dr. Bonds took the podium with the band, they were extremely engaged with the teacher.

“It is crazy that one teacher, like myself, could say the same thing every time and every day all day, but it does not seem to stick, but when someone else like Dr, Bonds mentions it, then it clicked with the students. I was talking to former Band Director, Mike Brown, who said that sometimes it takes someone else to reconfirm to the students that the teacher is in fact knowledgeable.” -Mr. Tyler


The music seems to bring people from different walks of life together and unites people in hard times. All directors at some point in time have been a first or second-year teacher at one time and they have all had moments where they needed help from more experienced teachers. It is incredible that all of the students with different teachers have all come from different parts of life and parts of the world, but they are able to unite and make music together. Even just thinking about the teachers, these are all people who are different ages and different areas of life but work together to make something great happen to the next generations.



What’s Next

The fall semester is now over for the Tribe of Indians Band at CHS, so now what? Most people believe that the band is in a waiting stage for the next marching season to start, but this is not the case. The group is now working on multiple things for the spring and even for the next fall semester. Half of the spring semester will be working and in anticipation for the Music Performance Assessment(MPA), which is a statewide assessment for concert band. This performance will take place at the beginning of March and will be held at the University of North Alabama Norton Auditorium. This is like the competition for concert band, but we are essentially competing against ourselves since we will be judged on how we perform in relations to the standards. Last year, the band performed at MPA, but only performed for comments only. “This year,” Mr. Tyler states, “the students are energized and are ready to perform for ratings and rank this time.” You can tell that at the moment, there are no stopping points for the band.


Once that is over, then the band will relax a little as they get ready for their spring concert in May. The spring concert will be titled “Remembrance”, which will look back on their 45 years as a band and play some of the hits throughout the year. Mr. Tyler has also hinted that this will be a concert to honor Pam Burns, retiring Art teacher at CHS. “Mrs. Burns and I have worked closely together and I am going to miss her a lot even though we have only known each other for two years, she has been like family to me”. The art classes will be working on artwork to match the theme of the band concert, which was a collaboration that began last year for the spring concert “Cinemas”. Once that is over, then the band will shift gears into the marching band to get the next halftime show together.


When asked about the halftime show for next year, Mr. Tyler seemed to grin about the ideas. “We are planning something royal for the show. We have already begun the planning of the show and even have a team meeting once a month to talk about progress.” He mentioned that Gabriel Goodloe will be returning to work with the drumline as he has the official title of Percussion Instructor now. Alumnus Brodi Welborn will be joining the team as Color Guard Instructor as his first job out of high school and the spot for Dance Instructor is still open as of now for an energetic coach. What is an amazing surprise is Ethan Smith is working with Mr. Tyler and Mr. Goodloe on writing the music for the halftime show. “He seemed so energetic and loves working on music that he loves creating the music and making it come to life.” In the early summer, the royal show will be revealed to the public. Continue to follow the tribe on Facebook and Instagram for more updates.