Dr. Doyle Shares Goals for Band
This year, the Pace band has undergone significant changes due to the new leadership of veteran band director Dr. Doyle. Originally a trumpet player, Dr. Doyle has directed school bands for the past 25 years. Upon joining the Pace faculty, Dr. Doyle had two main goals in mind for the band: to prepare the students for performing and for traveling. He explained that he follows a strict curriculum that is somewhat different from what students are accustomed to. “It’s like when a team gets a new coach and a new system — the players adjust,” he said.
One of his major aims for the band was to increase the prominence of the pep band, and he has succeeded, according to many Pace students. “The pep band rocked my world!” said junior Sydney Willis. Junior Claire Wiskind added, “I really enjoyed the electric guitar. It was a nice touch.” Student director and junior Amber Easley said of the pep band’s smash performance at the pep rally, “Everyone actually enjoyed it!” Dr. Doyle hopes that the pep band will allow the band to have a more active role in the school and to help the band “feel like more of a cohesive unit.”
The band will test their performance and traveling skills during their trip to Universal Studios in March. To match the vibrant atmosphere of Universal, the band will be playing pop and swing music along with popular show tunes. The band will not receive their sheet music until January, but Dr. Doyle is looking forward to “watching it all come together.” He eagerly awaits witnessing the band’s improvement over the course of this year. “As they better understand what I’m trying to do, they work harder at achieving good sound quality and better work ethic,” he said.
The band held their winter concert on Dec. 4. They played Christmas songs, including a “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” medley, a jazz saxophone solo, and Dr. Doyle’s favorite, “Sleigh Ride.” “That one is difficult to play, but the kids handled it well,” he said. The band practiced these Christmas songs for the past two months. Dr. Doyle admitted that it felt a little strange to practice Christmas songs as early as October. “I always have Christmas songs stuck in my head,” he said.
Junior Sam Schaffer, a member of the band, said that he has seen definite improvement in the band this year. “We have made unimaginable progress with our new instruments, new techniques, and new music,” he shared. As the band continues to make strides, Dr. Doyle is confident that the student musicians will rise to the occasion when facing upcoming challenges.
By Suzanne Monyak, Staff Writer ’13
Photos: Suzanne Monyak