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Mr. Van Hoven on His First Christmas at Oratory

Justin Oei, Staff Writer

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Christmas at Oratory is right around the corner! The band has been rehearsing diligently in class and after school; the student council has set the order for the afternoon; the campus ministry team has prepared another lessons and carols service. As the band, campus ministry, and student council all prepare for the surprises on that afternoon, I interviewed Mr. Van Hoven, OP’s music teacher, about the preparations the band has been making.

 

JO: What are your expectations of the band for the upcoming concert?
Mr. Van Hoven: What I’m hoping for – and confident they will do – is that they stay focused and play the best they have all year.

 

What is the most meaningful way in which band members have been preparing?
To me, this is a two-step process. First, we learn the notes and rhythms, and then we turn it into music by paying attention to articulation, dynamics, style, and knowing your role in the ensemble at each moment.

 

Thus far in the rehearsal process what have you enjoyed the most?
I love the rehearsal process, seeing the band make small changes each day that add up to some really wonderful music. And as a new teacher, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the students in the band, who have been incredibly welcoming and very receptive to new things I have done with them.

 

What else would you like the student body to know about the upcoming concert or the band in general?
Anything else for the student body to know? Yes! If you used to play an instrument but stopped for whatever reason, I’d love to have you back in the band. You should come see me to discuss it.

 

As a band member myself, I am a first-hand witness to the music-making that goes on every day and can attest to the hard work that every single person in the band has put in. Christmas at OP is already looking to be one of the greatest concerts in recent history, and more surprises are in store for the second semester and beyond.

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