Student band on the rise


Michael Lee

Senior Adele Ruby plays guitar for Planet Nine and takes part in the performances for school.

While many students experienced various bands at the Jambone fest in September, one in particular included Planet Nine with members Mitchell Lee, junior, and seniors Kaitlin Michaels, Adele Ruby, Emily Hines and Fenwick High School junior Kelsey Hayes. Keyboardist, Jacqueline Buccellato, sophomore, joined the band a month after its creation in 2017. 

The members originally met at School of Rock, where they still spend time practicing. 

The band practices two to three hours a week, but many of the individual members practice outside of that. Buccellato said she spends around 30 minutes a day on individual practices. Buccellato said she has been playing piano since she was five and she has always had an interest in music.

Michaels’ sister Megan Michaels, sophomore, adds that her sister spends a lot of time at home practicing as well, and started playing bass in eighth grade and has loved it ever since.

School is usually an obstacle for members of student bands. According to Buccellato, it can be hard to find time to practice when all of the members have homework to do and tests to study for. Usually, they can overcome it and make time to practice.

“We try to include maybe one newer song because our lead singer likes newer music but we usually end up playing mostly classic rock,” Buccellato said.

The rise of student bands at the school over the years has been noticed by the two band directors.

“I think it’s great… if there are people playing instruments and making music that’s great,” said Matt Kurinsky, marching band director.

Kurinsky also said that there is a significant difference between a school band and a student band. Music theory, which is the study of the fundamental rules and possibilities of music, is one of the main differences. The way that music is practiced and learned in both of these types of bands is usually very different. School bands often analyze notes and rhythms in depth and figure them out based on the music. On the other hand, it is common for many student bands to learn notes, instruments, and rhythms through listening and self-teaching.

Other differences include instrument choice. Instruments like guitar, bass, and piano/keyboard are not usually featured in the classical style that the school band typically plays in.

Some students are opting to use their experience mostly from School of Rock to create their own bands, instead of joining the school band. However, many of the students that are involved in student bands are also involved in the music program at the school, including jazz, band, orchestra and choir. 

In addition to playing keyboard for Planet Nine, Buccellato plays the violin and takes AP Music Theory.

“We hope to play some more outdoor festivals and play more shows in general,” Buccellato said. The keyboardist also wants to increase her skill and hopes for the band to gain more attention.

Megan Michaels added, “I know Kaitlin wants to continue to play music [with Planet Nine] because that’s what she loves.” 

For updates and information on upcoming shows, visit @planet9theband on Instagram.