An extraordinary performance opportunity happened in early 2021 for the D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School marching band — they performed during the virtual Parade Across America for the presidential inauguration on January 20!
Creating memories like this is what makes Becky Paschke such a positive music educator. In one of her “40 Under 40” nomination letters, a colleague wrote, “Becky Paschke is nothing less than AMAZING! Each year, she outdoes the previous year’s performance, and we are left with our jaws on the floor with what she has accomplished.”
D’Evelyn had a history of success before Paschke came to the school, and with consistent high-quality performances under her leadership, Paschke moved the band from 2A to 3A division. “My goal for the band is to focus on what we can do better each day — not to worry about what other bands are doing,” she said. “We always perform for the audience in our mind and make sure we are memorable. When the performance is over, we all ask ourselves, ‘Was this the best I could have done?’ ‘How can I improve?’ ‘Did the audience love it?’”
Paschke incorporates innovative techniques to make band more relevant and fun. For example, she brought in her vocal colleague to work with the band on singing technique. “I knew that there is no better way to improve intonation than by singing,” she said. “We take those listening skills to our instruments, and our overall sound and intonation has improved so much!”
Paschke is also a board member of the D’Evelyn Education Foundation. This group of dedicated parents, community members and faculty support the academics, activites and athletics at the school. “This foundation has raised money to purchase new instruments and equipment that have allowed for the band to double in size over the past five years,” she said.
When music programs were defunded or canceled at other schools, Paschke welcomed those students to join D’Evelyn’s band. One student wrote, “For me personally, Mrs. Paschke has instilled a passion for music and the drive to be the best at music as I can be, which has inspired me to pursue music as a career.”