Rush-Henrietta band director puts together ‘virtual concert band’

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HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WROC) — Musicians continue to find ways to cope after the entertainment and venue shutdown. Many have turned to livestreams, an informal and fun way to reach their audience, and maybe get a couple extra bucks through their virtual tip jar.

Rush-Henrietta High School band director Scott Cannan struck another chord: a pre-recorded and edited full-band piece. Over a dozen local music educators submitted their parts of a piece called “Salvation is Created” for Cannan to edit.

Like every other band director, Cannan had to learn to play every band instrument, conduct, and learn repertoire. But learning audio editing software Logic, and video editing software Final Cut Pro? Not so much.

A snapshot of the Logic project that was Cannan was working on

“It is during quarantine,” Cannan joked.

The idea started when Cannan was using an app called “Acapella” to play duets with himself, playing reed instruments. Eventually, he started helping out his wife — a euphonium player — record duets as well. After a small equipment upgrade, he wanted to take the next step.

Not to mention that Logic and Final Cut Pro were on free 90-day trials from Apple.

“I had used Garageband and iMovie, so they weren’t much of a leap,” he said. But he wanted to explore more sounds, and go beyond Acapella’s 30-second limit. “The next logical step was to email some friends.”

He put out the email to a group of music educator friends Sunday, April 19th. He then put everything together and put it out on his Facebook page a week later.

Cannon played a handful of parts himself, mostly on reeds. Many musicians played different parts on the same instrument.

“Three of us played clarinet,” he said. “So I played the first, second, and third part, then Bill Tiberio played the first, second, and third part, and Heather Mate played first, second, and third.”

He used software call SmartMusic. It has sheet music with a built metronome that clicks out the tempo, so everyone can stay on the same page. Tiberio was the conductor, and based his conducting on that as well.

“Nobody saw it until it done and sent out to them,” he said. “It’s fun. It’s a totally different way to collaborate.”

Cannon says he hopes to inspire his music students at home, and plans to do more projects like these in the future.

This project featured the talents of:

Scott Cannan (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone): Rush-Henrietta
Melissa Cannan (euphonium, trombone): Liverpool CSD
Tiffany DiPiazza (oboe): Webster
Heather Mate (clarinet): Rush-Henrietta
Bill Tiberio (conductor, clarinet): Fairport
Chris Jabot (baritone saxophone): Solvay
Brett Chipman (trumpet): Rush-Henrietta
Allison Chipman (French horn): Churchville-Chili
Sean Joseph (trombone): Rush-Henrietta
Andy Kittleson (trombone): Wayne CSD
Anna Salem (euphonium): Liverpool CSD
Steve Salem (bass trombone, tuba): Liverpool CSD
Michael Coldren (tuba): Hamilton CSD
David Kluge (string bass): Rush-Henrietta
Bill Quick (percussion): Liverpool CSD (retired)

You can watch more videos from Cannan here:

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