FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — This band teacher pulled out all the stops to give his graduating seniors the virtual send-off they deserve.
Scott Kummrow has served as the band director for nearly 17 years at Fergus Falls High School in Minnesota. But this school year has been unlike any before.
As hard as he tried to adjust to the new normal of distance learning, it was nearly impossible to conduct the music lessons and rehearsals that filled his pre-pandemic school days.
He noticed a change in his students, too. Social isolation and nonstop screen time made them disconnected and sluggish. For many of the seniors in the group, the loss of graduation and other milestones felt devastating.
So Scott wanted to use music to pay tribute to these students and their accomplishments. Over the course of two days, he filmed himself playing the graduation anthem "Pomp and Circumstance" on 22 different band instruments, while decked out in various articles of school-themed apparel.
After about 10 hours of recording, he layered the individual videos together to create an impressively cohesive final product.
In a version he showed to his students, Scott added personalized messages to each senior.
"They got a kick out of it," he said.
Scott hopes the video inspires his students to encourage and support one another during this difficult time.
"This is about communal gathering... and being a part of something bigger than the individual," he said.
He also recognized the exceptional work other teachers are doing to find out-of-the-box ways to engage their students.
"This is just a visual representation of what every teacher I know is doing," he said.