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An Electric Performance

A rock band and classical music - these two elements are definitely an unusual combination. That fusion, however, is exactly what happened at Kettle Moraine High School’s 2015 Mosaic Concert. This year’s winter performance, typically featuring the school’s Chamber Orchestra and Wind Symphony, also welcomed the Milwaukee band I’m Not A Pilot to the KMHS stage.

I’m Not A Pilot (INAP), is a classically infused rock band, features Mark Glatzel on keyboard and lead vocals, Steve Vorass Jr on drums, Peter Thomas on electric cello and vocals, and Adrian Esguerra on vocals and bass. Mr. Thomas, also a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, first proposed orchestration of the band’s songs almost two years ago. Since then the band has performed at six different high schools in Wisconsin. “We all enjoy working with high school musicians,” says Mr. Thomas, “and have created this collaboration to give back to schools what we learned growing up.”

The concert began with an exciting performance of an INAP original, “No Order,” complete with full orchestra, lights, and fog machines. The enthusiasm carried through seven other fully orchestrated songs, and two covers which the band performed solo. Songs “Too Late” and “Ami’s Song” featured KM Perform senior Hannah Kasun on electric cello, and the INAP encore featured the improvisational skills of KM Perform senior Lukas Jaeger on electric violin.

This performance was rewarding, but it didn’t come together overnight. The preparation began last spring when students met INAP through a special performance in the auditorium. Since that moment, the preparation hardly stopped, but the process has been worth it. "I feel as though I have learned how to play better in an orchestra and listen better," says KM Perform senior, Emily Albrecht. This sentiment was echoed by many students throughout the music program.

Though the concert is finished, it has left a buzz of excitement in the halls of Kettle Moraine. “Music education is so important in schools and we only hope our program continues to show people why music matters,” says Mr. Thomas. “We only hope that this experience will show students that it is cool to think outside of the 'classical' box in terms of playing their instrument.” Thanks to the efforts of directors Ms. Roznowski and Ms. Catania, I’m Not A Pilot, and the many students involved, the journey of this concert has indeed been something “outside of the box,” a remarkable and memorable collaboration both electric and magical.

Hannah Kasun
December, 2015