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Roxbury Bands Hold Google Meet with Special Guest

NEWS RELEASE 

Roxbury Bands Hold Google Meet with Special Guest

 Staff Sergeant Michael Ducassoux on the Google Meet

Roxbury, NJ (May 14, 2020) — Middle and high school band students in Roxbury had a special guest on Wednesday morning for a Google Meet which was truly a unique experience virtually for the entire band program. 

Band students held a Google Meet with Staff Sergeant Michael Ducassoux of the United States Marine Corps, who is currently serving as a Recording Engineer with “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. SSgt Ducassoux’s post is in the Marine Band Recording Lab, where his primary job is recording various Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra concerts and sessions and providing sound reinforcement for performances. In addition, they are responsible for the recording studio and the preservation of the band’s recorded archive collections. 

“Ssgt Ducassoux spoke to us for about 45 minutes and covered topics including a brief history of The Marine Band, his role in the organization, his background, what kinds of opportunities are available in the music and recording industry at large, and how the performing arts are currently being affected and will be affected in the future by the current state of the world. In the end, we opened up the Google Meet to a Q&A session,” shared 7th grade Band Director Greg Boccuti. 

Google Meet Grid View Adding, “Ssgt Duccasoux talked to us about the recent virtual band project that he just finished working on with “The President’s Own”, which is the same type of project that we are working on with all of our bands.” 

A virtual band project is where each musician submits a video recording of themselves playing their part to a piece of music, played along to a click track through headphones. An audio engineer then takes all of those recordings, synchronizes them, mixes, edits, and masters them, and then puts all of the videos together to create a “virtual performance”. Here is the most recent release on their YouTube channel. All of the video and audio that you see and hear was done with smartphone cameras. 

“Since we are working on a project just like this with all of our bands grades 7-12, it was quite interesting to hear Ssgt Duccasoux’s experience about the production of this video,” said Boccuti. 

Including students that entered late or had to leave early, there were approximately 80 band students grade 7-12 from Roxbury High School and Eisenhower Middle School, and grade 5-6 band students from Lincoln/Roosevelt School watching over a private live stream. 

“This was a team effort from the 5-12 band staff including Jeff Conrad, Sarah Bednarcik, Ryan Sweer, Shannon Perrone, Kate Katz, Tim Orton, and Andrew Denburg who helped me get this Google Meet put together for the kids,” said Boccuti.

“I also want to extend a big thank you to our building principals for allowing our kids to participate in this really unique experience!” 

ABOUT STAFF SERGEANT DUCCASOUX

Staff Sergeant Michael Ducassoux

Recording engineer Staff Sergeant Michael Ducassoux joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in February 2016. Staff Sergeant Ducassoux began his musical training on percussion at age eight. After graduating in 2001 from Interboro High School in Prospect Park, Pa., he attended Temple University in Philadelphia, from which he earned a bachelor's degree in music education and jazz studies in 2007. While at Temple he studied classical percussion with Glenn Steele, jazz percussion with Erik Johnson, and jazz studies with Terell Stafford. In 2014, he earned a master's degree in music technology-production track from the University of Valley Forge in Phoenixville, Pa.

Prior to joining "The President's Own," Staff Sgt. Ducassoux started a production company in 2011 where he recorded and composed for academic ensembles, composed music for film, and designed sound systems. He is also an active percussionist and has performed throughout the East coast in various styles and settings. Staff Sgt. Ducassoux has been a guest clinician and commissioned composer at the middle and high school level for jazz and percussion ensembles, music technology workshops, and recording/live sound workshops. Most recently, he taught band, orchestra, jazz, and general music for nine years at Tredyffrin/Easttown Middle School in Berwyn, Pa., in addition to teaching high school marching bands, indoor drum lines, and maintaining a private studio. 

LOGO ATTACHED (courtesy of Roxbury Public Schools)

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For more information, contact: Roxbury Community Relations/Community School Coordinator Ann Rhodes at arhodes@roxbury.org or 973-584-7699. 

ABOUT ROXBURY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Roxbury Public Schools is a K-12 school district preparing the children of today for tomorrow. As a dynamic and thriving district, in partnership with a supportive and collaborative community, Roxbury Public Schools inspires and empowers all learners to flourish as ethical and global citizens in the 21st century. The district serves students throughout Roxbury Township, New Jersey, including the areas of Landing, Kenvil, Succasunna, Ledgewood, Mount Arlington, Port Morris, Flanders, and Wharton. Connect with us online at www.roxbury.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RoxburyPublicSchools.