Breck Students Perform in Marimba Band at State Fair
Intense practice prepared students from the Breck School’s Miramba band on the International Bazaar Stage at the Minnesota State Fair.
Practice makes perfect
The addicting sounds Bato Bato! produces don’t happen by accident. Several weeks before the school year began, the group began intense practice sessions in preparation for performing on the International Bazaar stage at the Minnesota State Fair.
“The music is incredible,” says David Ruiz, who is a senior at Breck School. “I would call it an addiction to this kind of music. All the deep, deep percussion in the music makes it seem like the music is three feet deep as opposed to maybe a foot deep. I got addicted to that sound and I’ve been playing like crazy ever since.”
For the last two weeks, the group has met daily for three-hour practices.
“I love practicing,” says Marco Hunt, another senior at Breck School. “I love going to performances and bonding with the people. It’s great to talk to them but the music is what kind of makes us all in a better mood.”
Breck faculty member Carey Sirian directs the band by Bato Bato! is a student led group. The members are sophomores or older. Students can join the group Batitos as freshmen in preparation for playing with the more experienced group.
“We teach each other the parts. There’s no sheet music or anything like that,” explains Will Sweeney, a sophomore. “It’s really cool that a lot of the older students will pass down the parts and they might put a twist or a little personal adaptation to the part. Then they pass it down to the younger students and we learn it just through them showing us on the marimbas.”
A group in demand
Bato Bato! plays 25 to 30 shows a year but has to turn down many more invitations. If you can catch one of their performances at the State Fair, you won’t be disappointed.
“We’re cheering each other on,” says Jack Weinstein, a senior. “It’s a really close group. We’re all good friends and we’re really close. So I think that’s one of the things that makes people want to dance. They can see we’re so tight knit. We’re really working together and enjoying the music as a group and being supportive of each other.”
Bato Bato! performs on both Saturday and Sunday, September 1-2 at the Minnesota State Fair’s International Bazaar Stage. Show times are 10:45 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 1:15 p.m.