The student news site of Baldwin High School, est. 1999

The Bulldog Bulletin

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The student news site of Baldwin High School, est. 1999

The Bulldog Bulletin

The student news site of Baldwin High School, est. 1999

The Bulldog Bulletin


BHS Band & Choir prepare for upcoming concerts
The band and choir have many different performance spaces, from auditoriums to the streets of Baldwin.

Many musical events are coming up for the Baldwin school district, including choir and band concerts where students, faculty, and families can listen to beautiful music being performed by our talented student body. What is often overlooked is the time and effort that goes into these events. 

For the upcoming [choir] events such as Starstruck and state large group,” senior Talan Torrez said. “We work very hard on our songs every day as well as having fun with each other in class.” 

While listening to concerts it is hard to remember that these performances are being prepared months in advance. These musicians practice hard every day, and seem to be seeing results.

“Something that might surprise people is just how excited and happy you can get in class.” Eighth grade percussionist Isabel Perez said.  “Whenever I nail my part in class I get really excited, or if the band is sounding really great I will be really happy about it.”

To put together a great performance takes a lot of dedication and hard work, but there is some fun to be had.

“The band has a lot of inside jokes with our director Mr. O’Neil. He can be pretty funny, only when he tries really really hard,” sophomore Maddie Maddox said. “In choir we are constantly joking around within our sections and as a full ensemble. We are extremely energetic and we love each other like we are one big family. Being around my choir family is the best feeling and in my opinion this is the absolute best environment for students to be in at BHS.”

Some events are favored by these musicians. 

“I’m very excited to go to Chicago,” Maddox said “We will be going in late March. Two-thirds of the band is going and will be performing in the Field Museum. We will also be going to compete as a full band and small ensembles at NEKMEA’s solo – small ensemble.”

This also applies to our talented choir students. 

“I am most excited for my solos at the solo and small ensemble because my songs are challenging but I’m excited to learn and perform them.” Torrez said.

Whether it’s band or choir, these classes can bring people together in a way many classes can’t.

 Choir is an escape for most people,” Torrez said. “It is somewhere that you can express your feelings without actually showing emotion.”

It’s not just the students who prepare for concerts, they are led by their fabulous conductors- Stuart O’Neil (band director) and Rachel Naughtin (choir director).

“Mr. O’Neil is a great director,” Maddox said. “Baldwin bands have had wonderful band directors for the past 30+ years. Our directors have been teaching us how to prepare for competitions and we have been self preparing for about a month for our solos and ensembles.” 

 Naughtin is just as loved by her students as well.

“I love Mrs. Naughtin,” 8th grader Leah Southard said. “She is a very skilled teacher and was named the 2023-2024 NEKMEA director of the year.”

The way these teachers can inspire their students to perform at an astounding level of perfection is simply amazing.

“The philosophy I try to instill in my students is that a performance is just a snapshot of where we are and what we’ve been doing on a daily basis,” O’Neil said. “If we play with good tone, intonation, and style every single day, that will show in a public performance. If we sit up straight and use a lot of air every day, that will show in a performance. If we strive to play the notes and rhythms accurately every day, it will show in a performance. The way we practice daily is the way we perform, and that’s true in music class, math class, on the court, etc.”