Photo by Andrew Brown ’18 | Various musicians and singers cantor during the opening Mass Feb. 27 to this year’s Summit on Human Dignity titled We The People: Inclusive and Faithful Citizenship in Modern Democracy. The OFJ has tried to include student bands and talent into the music performed at each Mass.
By Collin McShane ’19
You may have noticed something strange at the Summit Mass; everyone stayed until the last song instead of running out after the priest, and the people playing that music was a student made Mass band.
Mr. Austin Pidgeon ’08 supervised this band and also gave them a room to play in.
“The Mass band was created in an attempt to get more student involvement in the Masses,” Mr. Pidgeon said. “It was also a way to get the rest of the community singing, because when it’s your peers up there, you might want to sing more.”
The band has no set line up, Mr. Pidgeon wants as many people as possible to circulate through and enjoy the ride.
“Currently we have a few seniors like Max Fees ’17 and sophomores like Camden Andl ’19,” Mr. Pidgeon said. “It’s in its early stages right now but I think we’ll continue to experiment and hopefully get better.”
Mr. Pidgeon also said that the crew should be 100 percent student run, and he should get very little credit for their success.
“I don’t even know if I should have a title at all, I’m just the guy who has a classroom and lets the kids in,” Mr. Pidgeon said. “No band names, and I will remain titleless.”
The purpose of all of this ambiguity of titles and set lists is so that the band can continue on after all of the current members leave or graduate.
“The entire process is democratic, we all have input in what songs we play,” Mr. Pidgeon said. “We ask ourselves ‘do the lyrics make sense to the Mass and are they enjoyable to the students’ and if the answer’s yes then we go for it.”
The main drummer of the Mass band, Max Henderson ’17, has played at all of the bands performances so far.
“Normally we’ll just talk about what songs we want to play and the logistics of it all then we just like give it a go,” Henderson said. “It’s overall a pretty manageable schedule.”
The band tries to meet on Fridays before school in Mr. Pidgeon’s room in Brophy Hall.
“I would say that’s it’s not just about playing, but learning too,” Henderson said. “We get to play music we’re not used to, and at a venue we’re not used to, but on the other hand it’s a lot of fun.”
Henderson also said that he really wants the band to continue when he is gone as he is graduating this year.
“I know there are a lot of people able to and I just hope they step up to the plate when it’s their turn,” Henderson said.