Composer On Video Is Dynamic

Nationally Famous Musician Joins Zoom Class with West Geauga Band

Rossano Gallante

Rossano Gallante

High school classes as we know them have been forcibly altered for the past year by mandatory social distancing guidelines. Teachers say they often find it difficult to engage students in a lesson being conducted in a Zoom meeting format. 

Fortunately, Mr. Jason Branch, the director of the West Geauga High School Band, is committed to keeping things interesting. Earlier this year Mr. Branch invited American composer Mr. Rossano Galante to speak with the band students during their virtual class. You might possibly know Galante by his work in the musical selections of various cinematic franchises like The Avengers, Fantastic Four, Wolverine, and the beloved Alvin and the Chipmunks

“Virtual instruction of band has its limits,” Mr. Branch pointed out, “I was trying to think of a creative way to enhance remote learning. Since we were all Zooming into class each day, I thought having a famous composer zoom in would be a fun addition to our lessons and instruction!” 

Counting down the days, the band classes conducted several practice sessions to ask questions and review guest speaker etiquette. “The class excitement [level] was very high,” Mr. Branch said, “none of the students seemed nervous to unmute and ask their questions.” 

The opportunity itself was immensely significant to the development of young musicians’ careers. The students, who were able to learn from an extremely successful individual in this field took away Mr. Galante’s suggestion that, “Students [should] pursue their dreams, interests, and passions for their professional future.” One skill in particular that Mr. Galante’s stressed in  his seminar was, “…being very outgoing in professional settings and projects,” which, of course, is a vital skill to acquire from a young age. 

One student who particularly stood out in her line of questioning was sophomore Kylie Cavasinni. A film and music fanatic herself, Kylie offered insight on her thoughts after finding out about the future Zoom call with Mr. Galante: “No way! We get to talk [to] someone who makes the music we play and works as an orchestrator on films with incredible scores!” After looking more into Galante’s background, Kylie asked questions, pertaining to Galante’s former teacher, Jerry Goldsmith, another well-regarded composer. “I think he was excited to answer this question,” Kylie went on. “He talked about how Goldsmith was a hero of his and how starstruck he was at first. It was just incredible to hear stories about Goldsmith, as he’s such a renowned composer.” 

Like the other students, Kylie was extremely inspired by Rossano Galante’s astonishing regard for music. Mr. Galante offered some advice to his young, impressionable listeners: “Hang in there and don’t give up until you feel you’ve worked hard enough. If you’re passionate about something, hang in there and it will happen for you. Of course, it will take hard work.”