Shonda Benson K’17 has only been playing the tuba for eight weeks. Leah Morano K’16 had never picked up a flute before spring quarter. Now, Benson and Morano will be going on a world concert tour with their class.
Instrumental Methods is a class in which students who have never played instruments spend the quarter learning how to play a selection of songs. The course culminates in a performance, which took place Monday, May 23 at 1:30 p.m. on the steps in front of the Light Fine Arts building. More than 125 students took the course this year, making the class not only the largest class offered spring quarter, but the largest class in Kalamazoo College’s history.
Although the class’s musical skill is still developing, Professor of Music Tom Evans said they have made great progress this quarter.
“They sound like a mature middle school band, and the joy and movement they exude is contagious,” Evans said.
It is this energy and attitude that landed the band a two album record deal and a world tour, after a scout who attended the concert approached conductor Evans with a deal.
“Instrumental Methods is just what we need on this label,” said Rick Davies, a music scout for Interscope records. “We need the energy, the passion, the raw magnetism of these students.”
While most are excited about the prospect of traveling the world with Evans and his band, some rising juniors are upset about the shift in their plans for the next year—namely their study abroad locations.
“I was gonna go to Rome,” Alison Hultman K’18 said. “I already bought my ticket and now I’m like, booked for the next year of my life.”
Seniors, however, were excited to finally have plans for the next phase after graduation.
“I mean, this beats unemployment,” Marco Rodriguez K’16 said.
Instrumental Methods leaves for their tour in September, and will return for a finale concert at K in January.