WARSAW — Martin Becker, former Director of Bands at Warsaw Community High School, and current Director of Bands at Grace College, will be the guest conductor for 500 middle schoolers at the INpact Band performance at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 13. In addition to conducting kids from all over the country, Becker will also be directing numerous kids from area middle schools who are a part of INpact Band.
The Drum Corps Finals will occur on Saturday, Aug. 13. The top 12 corps with individuals ages 15 to 21 will be performing in front of roughly 30,000 people in Lucas Oil Stadium. The INpact Band kids will be performing before the Drum Corps finals.
The INpact Band allows middle schoolers to get a taste of what being in drum corps is like before they get to high school. Around 600 students applied to be a part of this performance, however, the judges narrowed the applicants to about 500 kids from around the county. Applicants were recommended by their band instructor.
Thirteen kids from area middle schools have been chosen to be a part of the ensemble. Students in the band from Lakeview Middle School are: Brennan Cox, Samuel Reynolds, Kyle Sensibaugh, Jack Lemp and Ryan Hoak. Students from Edgewood Middle School are: Emily Collins and Ian Pelota. Students from Tippecanoe Valley Middle School are: Quintin Allen, Shelby Baker, Nikolas Vera, Faith Bradford, Nathaniel Banghart and Aaron Jamison.
Becker had a mixture of excitement and trepidation when he learned he had been chosen to be the conductor for this event. “I said I might be able to stand in front of 500 kids,” said Becker, while being in front of such a large crowd of kids was not his concern, it was figuring out how direct such a large number of kids all at once. Once he learned how many people are helping with the event, he felt more confident in his ability to conduct the event.
Becker is an experienced director as he has previously been the Director of Bands at Warsaw Community High School, where he directed marching band, wind ensemble, concert band and jazz bands. His wind ensembles were State Finalists seven times. Becker is currently a Director of Bands at Grace College, works with Festival of Music in the Village At Winona and teaches private music lessons in the Warsaw area.
Thirty directors and 24 assistants will be helping direct nearly 500 kids. Becker’s wife, Judy Becker, will be his assistant. Judy Becker has taught north band and choir for 24 years. She currently teaches at Lakeview Middle School.
The INpact Band will be performing three pieces of music. Micheal Boo, a local composer, has written two pieces specifically for this event, “On the Banks of the Wabash” and “Back Home Again in Indiana.” The third selection will be the song “Happy” by Pharell Williams. Al Chez, who performed on the Late Show with David Letterman for 25 years, will be performing a trumpet solo during the performance of “Happy”. Chez was previously a part of the drum corps.