139 Fairbanks Road,
Churchville, NY 14428
Fax: (585) 293-1013
Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? Dale Haskins did, and so he decided to compose it. That’s right, the Churchville-Chili senior worked for three months to put together his first-ever piece “The Last Stand.”
It will be performed publicly for the first time at the Churchville-Chili Community Music Festival, June 1, by the Churchville-Chili Wind Ensemble. Haskins describes his music as “it has its light parts and then builds up like a battle scene.”
Haskins’ musical breakthrough took his teacher Kevin Meade by surprise. Meade, who has been a music instructor with the district for 21 years, said this accomplishment ranks up there with the all-time greatest that he has been a part of.
“To have this happen in high school is so incredibly rare,” said Meade. “It will probably be my most proud moment as a teacher.”
Haskins contacted Meade over the summer to seek guidance. He knew he had a musical theme in his head, he just wasn’t sure how to take it to the next level.
“I’ve had that one main idea in my head since seventh grade,” said Haskins. “I just didn’t know how to write it down.”
Last year Haskins and his fellow students were offered the opportunity to witness composition in action as the Music Department worked with professional composer Al “Corky” Fibrizio to commission a piece named “Colors.” After Fibrizio wrote each movement he came in to the classroom to speak with the students about the project.
“At the high school we always encourage students to try things other than just playing music,” Mead said.
Haskins took that lead and Meade coached him through the process and offered feedback on how to improve the piece. Haskins was able to use Finale, a notation software that the Music Department uses to allow students to arrange notes and have the music play back for their review.
“There were a lot of times when I got really frustrated because I couldn’t get it all to work out,” said Haskins. After a couple months of revisions Haskins came back to Meade again in November.
“Literally my jaw dropped to the floor,” said Meade. “This is a piece I would see in a store or on a promotional CD and wish that I could have it for one of our ensembles to play.”
Haskins classmates were equally impressed with their friend’s work. Each year the student musicians get to select two pieces to play at the Community Music Festival. Haskins’ song was a unanimous choice.
Haskins will be playing trumpet in the ensemble at the upcoming concert. At Churchville he has participated in choir, jazz and symphonic band and in the school musical. He plays 15 instruments with his favorite being the euphonium (similar to a small tuba).
Next year he will attend SUNY Fredonia to major in music education.
“I really want to help kids,” said Haskins. “I can teach and then do composition on the side.”
About the Community Music Festival: The Community Music Festival, sponsored by the Churchville-Chili Music Boosters, will be held in front of the Churchville-Chili Senior High School June 1. The day-long event features performing groups from every school within the district. Performances will begin at 1:00 PM with the
The afternoon will conclude around 5:50 PM with a performance of a student composition, “The Last Stand,” written by senior Dale Haskins, performed by the CCHS Wind Ensemble under the direction of Kevin Mead.
For more information about the event, please contact Mrs. Pat Wheelhouse, Director of Music and Fine Arts, at 293-1800 ext. 3520, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.