Band members succeed at all-state

Band members anxiously waited for the first round’s results. All that mattered was a simple piece of paper stating whether they passed on or failed and could go no further. Eventually all of the results were posted, and, with a sigh, senior Kody Garis and junior Mason Bivens knew they could move on. But this was only the beginning.

On Nov. 9 the first round of band All-State auditions took place. A high playing ability on two selections was required as well as sight reading and scales. A person sight reads when he or she is given music they are not likely to have ever seen before and a certain amount of time to look it over. Then he or she must play it to the best of his/her ability.

Several band members auditioned for the All-State band. Among these were sophomores Taylor Mowdy and Lizzie Edwards, juniors Jessica Haas, Ian Beyer and Bivens along with seniors Jake Newton, Spencer Tolle and Garis.

“Everyone sounded about the same level and skill,” Bivens said.

After passing the first round, eight musicians received new selections. They had a month to learn the pieces before the final rounds on Dec. 14.

“[I practiced] literally every day,” Garis said. “If you want it bad enough you’ll put forth the effort.”

There are two bands the students try to make. There is the wind ensemble and the symphonic band, the symphonic being the higher level band with harder music. Some students were selected as alternates, meaning that if any of the players were to get sick or simply couldn’t be there the alternate would receive music and fill in. Haas was selected as the fourth alternate for flute and Newton was the second alternate for bass clarinet. Garis was selected as second chair clarinet in the wind ensemble.

The All-State jazz band is another band the students may audition for. Bivens auditioned for both the symphonic and jazz bands on trumpet, and he received the first chair for both. However, he could only choose one and chose the concert band.

Bivens and Garis proceeded to the All-State Convention in Tulsa where, on Jan. 15,  they practiced the music they already had with the rest of the bands.

“Everyone knew what they were doing and how to do it,” Garis said.

Before their actual performance the bands practiced on the large stage.

“Once you got on stage you felt really important,” he said.

They had their concert on Jan. 18. Band director Jeremy Haas felt proud of Bivens and Garis after their long hours of hard work.

“I think it is an awesome accomplishment for both of them because it is a testament of their hard work and dedication to the tryout music,” he said. “It just shows that they’re great players.”