Phoenix Student Musicians Learn From Award-Winning Composer

Award-winning composer Brian Balmages serves as the conductor as members of the John C. Birdlebough High School band perform one of his songs.

PHOENIX = Phoenix student musicians recently had an opportunity to hone their skills alongside a world-renowned composer during a once-in-a-lifetime band practice.

Members of the John C. Birdlebough High School band welcomed Brian Balmages — an award-winning composer, conductor, producer and performer — into their classroom to lend his expertise.

Balmages listened as the students performed and provided feedback to improve the band’s overall sound.

“Music is always a conversation, it’s constantly a dialogue,” Balmages said. “When we tune out from the people around us, that’s when we lose the musical message. Everything you play has to fit in with its surroundings.”

Taking that message into consideration, the band played several songs for Balmages, two of which will be performed during a 7 p.m. concert Nov. 12 in the G. Ray Bodley High School auditorium