The Harbinger Online

Band Members Compete for Spots in Symphonic Band

Yellow, green and neon pink. The theme for the final marching band show was glow sticks and the entire band was decked out. The final night of marching band was a chilling 35 degrees and the band stood in almost-darkness on the football field, neon glow sticks burning the air. As the band marched on, each member anticipated their next step in their career at East. Auditions for concert and symphonic band.

Once football season is over, each band member must audition for concert or symphonic band. Symphonic band is a more advanced band for more experienced players, while concert band is for freshmen and less experienced players. According to sophomore percussionist David Ronning, however, some sections are more competitive.

“If the competition is really high, like it is in the percussion section,” Ronning said. “[Then] it’s a big step to be in in symphonic, but for concert it’s [sort of] a middle ground.”

Band is made up of 12 sections and has several different instruments including oboe, bassoon, clarinet, flute, saxophone, trumpet, french horn and several percussion instruments.

Auditions began two weeks ago with each section (woodwinds, percussion, etc.) auditioning on a different day. Each section had a specialist in their section called in to audition each student.

“[The auditioner didn’t] say much generally,” said senior Emma Reno, the first chair flute for symphonic band. “But he smiled and was nice.”

The auditioner decides who makes each band, but Mr. Harrison, the band teacher, also helps decide based on attitude and previous performance. For the audition students had to sight-read, be able to play a scale and play a prepared piece.

“Usually it’s a piece of music that’s not too challenging,” Ronning said. “But it’s not so easy that players breeze through it.”

Although some band members may be disappointed and some overjoyed with their new positions in either concert or symphonic band, every freshman, sophomore and junior will have the opportunity to audition next year.

The difficulty of the audition remains the same each year, so students have several opportunities to improve. As Reno said, “[The audition] was definitely much harder at first, but it has gotten easier every year.” And with every new year, every band student has a new chance.

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