FARMINGTON — Jessica Baronet stood in front of her small class of Kirtland Middle School students on Tuesday.

"Where do we start when we crescendo?" she asked.

"Piano," the students responded, referring to the quiet start for a musical passage that builds in volume and intensity.

Baronet is one of the various teachers who will lead brass sections during the Brass Extravaganza at Piedra Vista High School on Saturday.

Baronet will direct the french horn section while Daniel Fear, the Piedra Vista and Heights Middle School band teacher, will direct the tuba and euphonium section. Farmington High School band director Chris Argotsinger and Bloomfield band teacher Melissa Peretti will also lead sections.

Band instructor Daniel Fear conducts the Heights Middle School band on Wednesday in Farmington.
Band instructor Daniel Fear conducts the Heights Middle School band on Wednesday in Farmington. (Megan Farmer / The Daily Times)

Mick Hesse, a member of the Trumpet Geezers, a local brass group approached various area band teachers and asked them if they thought it would be a good idea to bring brass musicians from all over the community together for a day-long workshop. That was the birth of the Brass Extravaganza.

Hesse said the extravaganza starts by dividing into sections — the trombones in one room, trumpets in another and tubas in another.

The musicians will learn to play, "Galician Carol," an original composition by local trombonist Don Allen. The tune has never before been performed.

At the end of the day, all the instruments will come together to perform the composition, which is what Heights Middle School student Vivienne Guillette, who plans to participate, said she is most excited about.

Guillette, an eighth grader, started playing trombone about two years ago partly because her father had played trombone.

"I really like the way that it's not too low and not too high of an instrument," she said.

The workshop has a fee of $5, which, Hesse said, pretty much just pays for the lunch.

Hesse asked the teachers if the workshop would help the students and the teachers said it would.

"They should have these also for the woodwinds and strings," Baronet said, who agreed to help with the extravaganza.

Jessica Baronet leads her band class, Tuesday at Kirtland Middle School in Kirtland.
Jessica Baronet leads her band class, Tuesday at Kirtland Middle School in Kirtland. (Jon Austria / The Daily Times)

After the local band teachers agreed to participate, Fear said they began to select a date and Argotsinger began working on applying for a grant from the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation.

The foundation — where Hesse is a board member — eventually awarded the Brass Extravaganza a grant.

Baronet said she never met Connie Gotsch but has heard a lot about her and her work for the art community.

"She's certainly giving back to he arts here in San Juan," she said.

Fear said he expects 15 to 20 brass players to attend the event on Saturday.

"I'll be really excited if we have more than 20," he said.

Baronet said one reason she thought it would be a good idea is the number of professional musicians in the area, who could help the children.

She said she hopes the extravaganza will help "light a fire" in the children.

"It's really up to the child, with our encouragement, to enhance their skills," she said.

Baronet has also encouraged her elementary students from Grace B. Wilson and Kirtland Elementary schools to attend, even though many of them are beginners and may not be able to play the entire composition.

She said hearing older and more experienced musicians play will help them learn how their instruments are supposed to sound. She hopes they are inspired.

Baronet also needed a push when she was a child before she became passionate about music.

"I was from a community much like Kirtland," she said.

Jessica Baronet leads her band class, Tuesday at Kirtland Middle School in Kirtland.
Jessica Baronet leads her band class, Tuesday at Kirtland Middle School in Kirtland. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)

Her small Louisiana hometown had very few art opportunities and, before she reached high school, she had never heard of All-State band.

Her high school band director encouraged her to audition and she made all-state her freshman year.

"The music was much harder than anything my high school band could play," she said.

While at all-state, she heard the all-state orchestra — which was a higher caliber musical group — play and she was determined to make all-state orchestra the next year.

"It opened up a whole new genre of horn playing," she said.

IF YOU GO

What: Brass Extravaganza

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Piedra Vista High School, 5700 College Blvd.

Cost: $5

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.