Moraine Valley Community College professor of music, Doug Bratt, was a guest clinician for the District 218 Band Festival this month hosted at Richards High School.
Bratt listened to the top concert bands from Eisenhower, Richards and Shepard high schools perform two pieces each on Feb. 15. After each band played, Bratt shared his expertise and worked with the students for 30 minutes on how to improve the musicality of each tune. They played a wide selection from Alfred Reed to Camille Saint-Saëns.
Students from each band also were able to listen to each group that performed and learn from the suggestions Bratt made. He was allowed to speak about the Moraine Valley Academic Music Program, which doesn’t require students to be music majors, and includes a concert band, jazz ensemble, percussion ensemble (all three Bratt directs), flute choir, orchestra, chorale and jazz combo.
“They were really attentive and focused on what I was saying. They did a good job of adapting to what I suggested. We worked on some rhythm stuff, and I had them clapping rhythms at times to better understand,” Bratt explained.
Bratt has been a clinician at festivals, schools and music events several times a year for the last 18 years. Not only is being a clinician fun but also helps in his own career.
“You get really good at assessing things quickly and get to the root of what needs to be improved. I’ve directed the Moraine Valley Concert Band for 17 years, and it helps me become better at my job,” he said. “I like working with different programs and seeing what they’re into, what kind of repertoire they’re working on, what current trends are out there. It’s enjoyable to share music with younger students and inspire them to continue.”
This annual festival allows students to learn from each other and the clinician while bringing their performance to a higher level with suggestions from a professional.
“Doug has a reputation of being an outstanding music educator, so we were compelled to bring him in to work with our kids not only because of his expertise, but also because so many of our students attend Moraine Valley after they graduate from our high schools,” said Dr. Justin Antos, director of bands and orchestras at Eisenhower High School. “He was great with our students and did a wonderful job helping them interpret their rhythms with greater confidence. We would love to work with him again in the future.”
For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or Vizzam@morainevalley.edu.