Two band students make it close to All-State Band


The Missouri Bandmasters Association sponsors and runs the All-State Band.

One of the highest honors for high school band students in Missouri is to make it into the Missouri All-State Band, a prestigious group made up of more than 100 of the finest band students in the state. While none of FHC’s band students actually made it into the All-State Band, two of them, senior Steven Haarmann and junior Sophie Julien, made Honorable Mention for it.

Haarmann and Julien were two of the 11 FHC students who auditioned for All-State Band on Dec. 5 in Columbia. These two and their nine FHC colleagues were among thousands of Missouri students auditioning for All-State Band. According to Julien, who plays the bass clarinet, the audition lasted an extremely long time.

“I sat there all day waiting for my audition,” Julien said. “I got to Columbia around 10 a.m., and the audition finished around 7 p.m.”

Haarmann, who plays tenor sax, went into further detail regarding the audition’s length as well as how it was scheduled and run.

“First, you get up at 4 a.m. and drive to Columbia. You hang out at Mizzou with thousands of other students who want to get in. You sign up for the time when you want to audition, but you still have to wait on the other 300 people who are auditioning for the same role,” Haarmann said.

However, this audition wasn’t the end of it. As Haarmann explains it, for the top 10 best students for each instrument, there was further auditioning.

“Then, at 5 p.m., there are callbacks were they had the best come back and play some more,” Haarmann said. “That lasted a few more hours, so you were there for the whole day.”

Julien said that she wasn’t terribly worried about the audition for the band when she arrived in Columbia. She claims this is due to the large amount of preparation that she had for that moment.

“I’ve been practicing for it for several months now. It was probably the most relaxed I’ve ever been in an audition,” Julien said.

While she wasn’t able to make it into the All-State Band, Julien was still happy that she was able to get into the Honorable Mention Band.

“I’m pretty proud of myself. However, I have even higher goals for myself next year like getting into the actual All-State Band,” Julien said.

Haarmann was extremely proud of his accomplishment as it meant that he was among the best in the state.

“I’m really proud of myself. I practiced for weeks in a row,” Haarmann said. “It’s just cool because when you get there, you see all of these kids who are the best of the best. They play fast and well and have good tones. To be put in the Honorable Mention Band means that I was among the best of the best, and that’s great.”

Now that she got into the Honorable Mention Band, Julien isn’t exactly sure about what specifically she will do with the group.

“I know that if I got into All-State Band, they had a tradition where I would have done a solo with the band. Since Steven and I only made it in the Honorable Mention Band, I’m not sure what we will do,” Julien said.