Band student joins the ranks of the best in state

FHC is known for it’s exceedingly successful band program. In fact, marching band is one of the most decorated groups in the school, so it really came as no surprise when it was announced by activities director Mr. Scott Harris that among the record-breaking 16 (last year’s record-breaking number was 8) students from FHC who qualified to audition for the All State Honor Band, two students achieved two different, but equally impressive honors. This band is a conglomerate of the best musicians in the state.

Senior and trumpeter Dominic Bianchi is one of only three students from FHC to ever achieve this honor. When he first heard the news of his qualification he was astounded.

“I simply couldn’t believe it. We had been waiting for well over two hours and then the first ten trumpets were posted and I thought that was it. That that was the cut-off. But then it showed the eleventh chair (Bianchi) and honorable mentions. I just couldn’t believe I had actually made it,” said Bianchi.

Bianchi wasn’t the only person to experience the joy of that day. Director of bands Mr. Nathan Griffin immediately noticed Bianchi’s excitement.

“You could see the joy on his face when we shook hands. I know his family is proud and his band family is proud to have him represent the FHC Spartan Band program,” said Mr. Griffin.

Among the honorable mentions was senior and bassoonist Matthew Cochran.

“Honorable mention means that my scores were high enough to make the band, but they chose another student or students over me. I was right there with the people who made the all-state band,” explained Cochran. “I was really excited to get honorable mention because last year I didn’t even make callbacks. It would have been nice to make the group, but the honor is still great.”

Bianchi is still relishing in his accomplishment and with good reason.

“I had great advice from [Mr. Andy Messerli] and Mr. Griffin and I’m lucky that I have had both of them to guide me, even if it’s taken me four years to earn this,” said Bianchi. “It’s a mile marker. It’s a huge self accomplishment and more than anything I proved to myself that I’m a good musician.”

Not only did he prove it to himself, but all of FHC as well. And soon he will prove it to the MMEA (the Missouri Music Educators Association) at their 75th annual conference on January 29th at 1 p.m. at the Lake of the Ozarks.