The long and proud musical tradition of Upper Moreland continues with the new BOC ensemble.
The BOC ensemble, which stands for “Band, Orchestra and Chorus,” is made up of seventh-and eighth-grade students from each of the school’s musical programs.
“These are the crème de la crème,” Eileen Fields, UMMS chorus director, said. “These are the best musicians of the seventh and eighth grades in Upper Moreland.”
Fields was addressing residents of the , where the BOC Ensemble had its debut concert, Jan. 30.
The retirement community and middle school are located on adjacent properties.
Each of the musical programs, starting with chorus then orchestra and wrapping up with band, got to show off their talent that afternoon, performing three selections.
While the each student had to audition in front of the school’s respective music directors, there is still a sizable number of student musicians representing UMMS.
According to UMMS band director Brian Stahl, there are 30 chorus students, led by Fields; 50 band students; led by himself; and eight orchestra students, who are led by UMMS orchestra director Amber Woolley.
“We’re only able to put together a couple of concerts a year,” Stahl said of the public concerts held at UMMS. “The idea was to go out to the community.”
Although there have been instances in which students from Upper Moreland School District have performed outside the district, Stahl said that the BOC ensemble was completely dedicated to general public performance.
He said that such ventures allows the budding musicians more performance experience, and an opportunity to bond with one-another, as well as the community at large.
“I got a soft spot for the students, because my daughter went to Upper Moreland,” Alma Mummert, a 4-year residnt of Wesley Enhanced Living, said.
With Upper Moreland public schools being so close to Wesley, many of the student concerts have been held there, included the recent .
Mummert, whose daughter participated with the color guard, said that she hasn’t missed a concert since she has lived at Wesley Enhanced Living. She said it felt good to be the debut concert of the new UMMS BOC ensemble.
Nikia Wyche, Wesley Enhanced Living activities coordinator, said that she is always glad when students visit.
“It gives the residents interactivity with the youth,” Wyche said. “It gives them the opportunity to perform and bridge the gap.”
According to Stahl, he hopes that the BOC ensemble will be able to play at more venues in the near future, and may be planning a concert at the Plymouth Meeting Mall.