Once again, the Fairfield Jr.-Sr. High School (FJSHS, Goshen, IN) Band is featuring Zach Grindle on the accordion - this time in Marching Band competition.
The FJSHS concert band director, Mykayla Roskos-Neilson, said she is very excited to use and feature Zach’s talent with the accordion. The marching band is performing a medley, To Paris with Love, which features sections of La Vie en Rose (Guglielmi and Piaf), Partita for Violin Solo No. 3 (Bach), Farandole (Bizet), Clair de Lune (Debussy) and Organ Symphony (Saint-Saëns). They placed 1st and 2nd at the four competitions this fall and last week were named Grand Champion for that event.
Zach plays solo parts on La Vie en Rose, Clair de Lune, and Organ Symphony. Then, as the band
joins, he strolls on the field in sync with the other band members, all the while continuing to
play. On the remaining songs, Zach quickly removes his accordion, dons a snare drum and is
part of the percussion section.
Zach comments that “having an accordion on the field and marching with it has been a very
different experience than what I’ve been used to. There have been many difficulties and
challenges, but it’s been very enjoyable to see how the directors and staff are able to make it all
work and produce a show that the judges seem to love. While the directors make many
accommodations that allow me to float between the accordion and snare drum, it always seems there is never enough time transitioning from one to the other when performing.” When asked about reactions from his other band members, he said, “Most of the band is already familiar with my accordion from playing March of the Toys last Christmas, so this is not new to them. But it is new to the other schools we compete with, and I have been getting positive comments from other schools.”
Zach is a student of Esther Lanting, ATG Executive Board member. Esther worked with Roskos-Neilson in arranging Zach’s accordion part to help feature both Zach and the accordion in the best possible way. Roskos-Neilson earned her degree at Manchester (IN) University in Instrumental Music Education. She has done some very creative things with the band and raised the band to a higher level of achievement. Her enthusiasm for including accordion when possible is something all band directors should consider. Zach is a better musician in general and a better accordion player for her willingness to use his gifts. Esther adds that Zach is very dedicated to music, whether performing solo on the accordion or participating in the broader musical opportunities before him.
Click on this link to hear Zach and the Fairfield High School Marching Band at one of their
competitions (Video editing by Heidi King).