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Composer Visits Port Chester Middle School Band Students

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. - Students in Port Chester Middle School's Select Band got a special treat at Thursday morning's band rehearsal as professional composer and music professor Barry Kopetz stopped by the school to work with the students.

Kopetz, from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, is the composer of "Tecumseh," an interpretative Native American song that the Port Chester Middle School Select band has been practicing and performing for months.

"It's such an opportunity. I won't say it's once-in-a-lifetime, but these things just don't happen every day," Music director Ken Kraut said. "He knows the piece better than anyone else in the world."

Kraut said it all came together when Sharon Slote, a colleague at Bronxville High School, emailed him that Kopetz would be visiting the school to conduct a seminar. Kraut said that when he asked Kopetz to visit his students, Kotetz immediately said yes.

Mikaela Roca and Maya Bater, two Select Band students who are soloists on "Tecumseh," said the experience of working with Kopetz was extremely valuable.

"It was really fun and cool," Roca said. "He helped us on parts, corrected us, and made it seem easier."

Bater said she tried to get to practice extra early to make sure she didn't miss anything.

"It was interesting to see, because he has a different way of interpreting it," Bater said. "He helped me match my solo to the band's background; he made everything sound smoother."

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