Banding together

Draped in scarves, red-and-white hats and holiday sweaters, the band took the stage.

If the audience was hoping to hear a serious rendition of a popular song, they likely cringed.

Exaggerated falsettos and comical facial expression and dance moves are king for Ear Nectar.

That’s the name for a band of seven Greenwood Community Middle School teachers who started playing music and crooning their renditions of popular songs to make school fun.

“Keep in mind that we are horrible, the entertainment is that we are not good,” eighth-grade science teacher Evan Camp said.

That is of small matter to the students.

Ear Nectar is in demand at the middle school. They play pep rallies, wrote an original song to teach kids about blood-borne pathogens and have jammed at local businesses in Greenwood.

Band members take popular songs and turn them into entertaining parodies.

They attempt to hit high falsettos and pick outlandish songs for six grown men to sing, such as “Let it Go,” from the movie, “Frozen,” and Destiny Child’s “Independent Woman.”

The goal is to give middle school students something they can relate to, band members said.

“They know when you are being real with them; you can tell,” said Russ Schneider, a sixth-grade social studies teacher.

The genesis of the band came from a joke played on some students about four years ago.

Camp said he and Nathan Rhinehart, an eighth-grade history teacher, had a playful ongoing feud that amused the students. 

Camp would bring Rhinehart cold coffee in front of students, and Rhinehart would stare Camp down in the hallways of the middle school.

Their mock feud ended when Camp stepped into Rhinehart’s class and played a Lionel Richie song on the piano. The idea for the band was born.

They started with the band name Sound Loaf. During a canned food drive pep rally, they played a portion of a familiar rap song, rapping about rice in “Rice Rice Baby.” 

Some band members left; others were added; and a new name, Ear Nectar, was adopted, Camp said. 

At a recent performance at Barnes and Noble in Greenwood, one woman nudged a teacher and asked if the band was serious. 

They aren’t.

The main pull for the band is to entertain the students and to have fun, band members said.

They don’t want their students to dread coming to school.

“They see that we are here and want to be here and that we love our jobs,” he said.