Band Students Prepare for Region Tryouts

Students Compete for Top Spots in Region 7 Band

Maggie McDonald, Editor

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Tensions in the hallway are high. A mixture of nerves, disappointment, and stress swirl through the atmosphere and wreak havoc on the emotions of the people that fill the rooms. The results of their months of hard work and effort could all go down the drain after today. Sophomore clarinet player Emma Keen relays her opinion of high school All-Region band tryouts in comparison to junior high tryouts: “It’s been a lot more extreme, but in a good way. I’ve gotten personal help from my directors and the seniors especially,”.


In order to prepare for her auditions, Keen listens to other clarinet players and models her playing on them. She  “airplays”, (keying the notes and rhythms while someone else is playing) to practice in order to make sure her notes and rhythms on her exercises are correct. Right before a tryout, Keen takes slow breaths to make sure her nerves are calm before going into the room. Junior William Gay also agrees that All-Region is intense in that it “Keeps up the competitive spirit so that you keep practicing”.


As a French Horn player, it’s imminent that he practices consistently. He describes that keeping a consistent practice schedule is essential in making sure all of his music is learned and that he can play it correctly. He practices for about 30 minutes a night, making sure he reviews aspects of the music that he needs to improve on.

He describes his section as being something where “You have to constantly practice to be able to keep up with everyone else. There are people that don’t practice enough and are only average players, but once you move on to harder music, you have to refine the smallest little details to get the highest chair”.


Senior trumpet player Megan Cross is also familiar with the competitive aspects that come with her section and All-Region tryouts. She describes that All-Region band helps with being able to practice certain exercises that helps develop techniques that would be difficult without them. She also describes that she has an intense procedure for being able to be prepared for All-Region:


“For me, a lot of the preparation has to be mental since I get really stressed out, but being confident in my past success and the faith that my directors have in me helps me be more confident in my audition. I prepare the music a year in advance, but I can get really stressed out the moment before, and that can really mess you up, but knowing that Mr. Ford has faith in me matters more to me than what the directors have to say behind the screen”.


Cross practices 1 hour a day at home and during her lunch break, along with one-on-one lessons Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Through all of this extra preparation, she’s able to be prepared not only for All-Region auditions, but also to becoming a better musician in the Wind Ensemble as well.


“Trumpet’s hard cause it’s mostly arrogant guys that think they’re better than everyone else, but just knowing that I know what being a musician is gives me more confidence over them” Cross further explains.

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