What's Inspiring Mr. P

Marching Band 2015

posted Jun 10, 2015, 1:59 PM by Quinten Petersen

Thanks for finding us! The schedule is posted under Calendar. If you click the button on the bottom right of the frame, you can subscribe to the WLHS Band Calendar for all of the season updates.

State Marching Band Performance

posted Oct 22, 2014, 7:16 AM by Quinten Petersen

Thank you to everyone for making this season a great one. You came so far from July to October! Congratulations on a great performance!


Hands Like Lightning - Liam Teague

posted Sep 10, 2014, 6:22 AM by Quinten Petersen

Sometimes you just need a pick-me-up. A few years ago I had the pleasure to play with Liam Teague at Birch Creek. Here he's playing one of his own compositions with the Northern Illinois University Steel Band. While we're rained out for our daytime rehearsal today, this is a great escape for all of us. Enjoy!


Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - As a salsa?

posted Aug 26, 2014, 8:56 AM by Quinten Petersen

I really enjoy listening to music from around the world. Some say it's because I'm a percussionist, and while that may be true, I feel like it's more than that. Take this Sweedish group for example. They take a Austrian composers work from hundreds of years ago and blend it with contemporary rhythms and instruments from Cuba and other Latin American cultures. Where else does the world feel so small? It intensely fun and supremely well done. I hope you enjoy!

Silk Road Ensemble

posted Aug 11, 2014, 9:12 AM by Quinten Petersen   [ updated Aug 11, 2014, 9:13 AM ]

The Silk Road Ensemble is a group of musicians that was assembled by Yo-Yo Ma as a collaborative effort. These two videos show just how effortless that collaboration seems. The instrumentalists come from 20 countries and they all come together for one ensemble sound.
NPR recorded them in a prop warehouse in Brooklyn. That explains the weirdness of their surroundings, but don't let it distract you from just how well these musicians communicate.

BONUS: Call it a shameless plug if you will, but after the full ensemble was done, the percussionists had their day. Here they're playing a piece that was written by Shane Shanahan called Saidi Swings. He's playing the Riq (the tambourine like instrument)

In each of these videos, appreciate how much these musicians love what they're doing in the moment. The joy of music is inescapable.

High Flight - John Gillespie Magee

posted Jul 23, 2014, 10:56 AM by Quinten Petersen

I found this poem on the Yamaha Percussion Instruments Facebook page. They were featuring Carolina Crown's show "Out of This World", which could be considered the extra-terrestrial extension of our trip into the clouds. I shared the quote from Leonardo daVinci, but this gives another poet's artful point of view. I hope you enjoy as I did.


Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
- Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.


- High Flight was composed by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee,  Jr., an American serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was born in Shanghai, China in 1922, the son of missionary parents,  Reverend and Mrs. John Gillespie Magee; his father was an American and his mother was originally a British citizen.

 He came to the U.S. in 1939 and earned a scholarship to Yale, but in September 1940 he enlisted in the RCAF and was graduated as a pilot. He was sent to England for combat duty in July 1941.

In August or September 1941, Pilot Officer Magee composed High Flight and sent a copy to his parents. Several months later, on December 11, 1941 his Spitfire collided with another plane over England and Magee, only 19 years of age, crashed to his death.

His remains are buried in the churchyard cemetery at Scopwick, Lincolnshire.

Biography from arlingtoncemetery.net

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