Sabish Bands New Music Initiative

Seventh and eighth grade band students at Sabish Middle School in Fond du Lac are in the process of completing a collaborative project with internationally-known composer Michael Sweeney (pictured) which has resulted in the creation of a new music composition. Known as the Sabish Bands New Music Initiative, this project will culminate on May 18 with the world premiere performance of a work written specifically for Sabish students, “Moai – Song of Ancient Giants”.

“It is exciting we will be the first band in the world to perform the composition,” says band student Madison
Mudrak. Fellow student Jamie Wodack agrees. “There is a lot of pressure to play the work for the first time,
especially since the composer is conducting us at the concert. However, we are confident we will play well.”

Students had the opportunity to collaborate with Sweeney in many areas, including the subject matter of the
piece. The composer was presented with numerous proposals from students. Sweeney, a composer with an
extensive background, ultimately chose to write about the ancient statues on Easter Island, an idea created by
student Katie Jurgensmier.

“There is no question that students will remember this experience for a lifetime” says Sabish band director Mike
Fedyszyn. He added the new work has been selected by Hal Leonard Publications to be available for purchase
worldwide. “In many ways, this composition will be our students’ legacy.”

Sabish principal Torrie Rochon-Luft is a strong supporter of the project. “Mr. Fedyszyn often brings in
professional musicians from around the world to inspire our students,” she says. “The unique nature of this
project has helped take our students to a whole new level.”

In addition to the world premiere of “Moai”, Sabish band students will perform many other selections at their
May 18 concert, which will be held at 7:00pm at the Goodrich Little Theater (72 W. 9th Street, Fond du Lac).
The performance is free and open to the public.