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Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

Synthetic sounds drum up the holiday assembly

At the annual holiday concert, band, jazz band, the choirs and orchestra perform seasonal tunes to bring out the holiday spirit. But this year, band director Mr. Matt Kurinksy decided to bring a new sound to the stage. Their percussionists played a song, Techno Pop, which featured a set of synthetic drums.

“I’ve actually done that piece before, only not with the synthetic drums. It’s actually written for real drums. But then, this [synthetic] drum set was donated to the school last year and so it seemed like a good time to get this out and try it,” Kurinsky said.

At the three holiday assemblies during the school day, several percussionists played the synthetic drums. Senior Evan DeLorenzo was one of them.

“It makes you think more about what you’re playing because everything is a lot louder. You have to be more specific and selective about the style you play in and the notes you hit because there’s no quiet setting,” DeLorenzo said.

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According to Kurinsky and DeLorenzo, the fact that the instrument was so loud and different than the regular instruments lengthened the rehearsal process. The performers in the piece all learned their parts without the synthetic drum set, and then the week before the concert, they added the drums in in an after-school rehearsal.

“Any time you’re trying to blend real instruments and synthetic instruments, you’re dealing with amplifiers and all different kinds of sounds and settings and you don’t want it to distract from those other students who are playing all the other parts. Those [synthetic drum] sounds could’ve been so silly that they were distracting, and we didn’t want that. So getting all those levels set is definitely more work than if we just would’ve used real drums,” Kurinsky said.

Kurinsky believed that their extra work paid off in the end; the audiences during the assemblies were responsive, appropriate in their behavior and respectful of the different sounds of the instrument.

“I think the reason we originally brought [the drums] in is because we wanted to create that feeling of a dance club, which is not something you get from common instruments so this was important to establishing that tone,” DeLorenzo said.

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