High School Band Won’t Let Pandemic Stop the Music

Link to Syracuse.com Coverage

Wednesday, April 15, 2020—When the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to in-person band practice, music teacher Lexi Carlson and her band students knew they had to keep the music going. 

After trial, error, and six weeks of hard work, the Syracuse Academy of Science High School Band is releasing their first-ever recording—“Ode to Joy,” the theme from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony that for centuries has been a symbol of hope and the resilience of the human spirit. The recording is available on the school’s YouTube Channel, @Syracuseacademy or here https://youtu.be/lHE1SCxpesU

Many of the band members began playing their instruments just this school year. They started practicing Ode to Joy at school in February and continued to learn it remotely through one on one sessions over Zoom video in order to put together the recording being released on Wednesday, April 15th.

It is the first time the students have ever practiced and recorded music on their own. Lexi Carlson, the Syracuse Academy of Science High School band teacher, put together the students’ individual recordings with the support of the Science Academies of New York multimedia department to create the released video recording.

“Ode to Joy has been used across cultures throughout the world to bring hope and joy during difficult times,” Carlson says. “We hope that our performance brings some hope and joy to families in Syracuse today. We're excited that we’ve found a way to still be making music together, now and in the weeks to come.”

About the Band:
The Syracuse Academy of Science High School Band has grown from 5 to 30 students in grades 8-12 over the past four years. The school’s vibrant program teaches students musical and life skills such as perseverance, self-reflection, collaboration, and leadership, making a life-long impact on students and on the broader community through performances, travel, and working with guest artists. Read more about the band here, and learn more about the Syracuse Academy of Science High School at www.sascs.org


Syracuse Academy of Science Charter School is part of Science Academies of New York.

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4837 S. Salina St. Syracuse, NY 13205
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