Band stretches themselves with back to back performances

Last week, April 18-20, various band sections had their own personal competitions and performances.

On Wednesday, both the wind ensemble and symphonic band went to Wentzville Holt High School for their competition. Senior Sara Orlet, a member of the wind ensemble, was excited for the awaiting competition.

“I felt like we were extremely prepared,” said Orlet. “The only thing I was really worried about for us was the sight reading, but we made it through just fine.”

The relatively small wind ensemble, containing only 25-30 students, played a variety of songs including ‘An American Elegy’, a song written about Columbine High School, and ‘The Tritan’. Their playing received the ultimate score that every group strives for; a rating of one.

“Our goal was a one and we achieved it,” said Orlet. “When we heard our rating we were all ecstatic.”

The symphonic band, which also performed on Wednesday, received a score of a two. While a two is not as high of a score as the highly sought after one, no one was left feeling disappointed.

“A two is still an extremely high score,” said senior Michael Barbara, a member of the symphonic band. “I’m still proud of how we did and how we scored.”

The aforementioned competition all took place on Wednesday, but more performances were awaiting for Thursday and Friday

On Thursday, the jazz band traveled to The Jazz Bistro in downtown St. Louis. With only seven members attending, the band members were excited for the event.

“It was a little different that other events because it wasn’t exactly a competition,” said Barbara. “It was more of a festival of jazz because a lot of jazz musicians don’t believe that jazz can be rated like other forms of music. Jazz isn’t about precision, even though that is important. It’s all about the soul.”

The lucky members performed and were then given personal advice by famous jazz musicians such as Stefon Harris.

“It was a fantastic learning experience,” said Barbara. “It wasn’t only good in the sense getting more musical experience, but life experience. It was really cool to be able to sit down and talk to professionals, not to mention the lessons that performances like these give you in confidence.”

Friday was the final performance of the week, for the jazz ensemble. The group of about 20 students went to UMSL’s Touhill and were welcomed by an open amphitheater with an anxiously awaiting crowd.

“It was probably one of the coolest venues I’ve ever been to,” said Barbara. “Not to mention that we always end up having fun just because we’re all together. What’s better than going to a beautiful place, playing beautiful music, with people you care about?”