By: Kevin Biggiani
During a recent fun-filled, October Friday evening, thirty-five members of the Oyster Bay High School Wind Ensemble enjoyed a night of bowling at the AMF Syosset Bowl. The conductor of the Wind Ensemble, Mr. Matthew Sisia, organized the event to allow OBHS musicians an opportunity to bond as a group.
Mr. Sisia was “impressed with the number of students who attended the event” and credited the students as a group for coming up with the idea of going bowling.
Among the many highlights of the event was trombonist Aavi Gupta bowling with both his right and left hands. Aavi, along with drummer Josh Gomez, saxophonist Marc Iacono, trumpet player Matt Tepper, and saxophonist Gregory Wulffen, showed everyone why they are on the Varsity Bowling Team. The Ensemble showed off their bowling flair and had lots of fun doing so. Mr. Sisia even threw a few strikes and spares himself.
Mr. Giannetta, who always shows his support for his students and their activities, was in attendance as well.
At the time the bowling activity was held, the Wind Ensemble students were preparing for an upcoming Chamber Music Concert. Chamber Music is music written for and performed by a small instrumental ensemble with one player on each part. Mr. Sisia indicated that a main reason he thought the bowling night was a great idea was because “an essential factor in playing chamber music is being comfortable with other people you are playing with. This is a moment where kids can hang out with each other and get to know each other better, and, as a result, play their instruments with each other better.”
According to Mr. Sisia, “Music is a very personal act, so the more comfortable you are with one another, the more likely you are to let your guard down and let another in.”
Mr. Sisia is also quick to point out that another great reason to participate in an activity such as bowling is that “it helps [a teacher] to spend time outside of a classroom with the students.” He adds, “As a teacher, I get to see students in a new and different environment, and they see me in a setting outside of the classroom.”
In the past, Mr. Sisia has planned similar activities for band students who were preparing for a Chamber Music Concert. A few years ago, the Wind Ensemble went to the BOCES rope course, another fun activity for students. When that Wind Ensemble later performed at a conference in Syracuse, New York, they went bowling in Syracuse, and according to Mr. Sisia, the group “had an absolute blast.”
Mr. Sisia plans to host similar events for band members in the future. Having an activity such as bowling night allows students and teachers to bond while enjoying a night out, away from the classroom.