Choir, band and orchestra students that qualified to play in a district-wide concert, known simply as “districts” held their respective concerts this past Saturday. The musicians auditioned to be able to play in this concert in November, which was open to the public.
This year, seven students made district choir, eight students made blue district band, seven students made red district band and eleven students made district orchestra. Two bands of equal skill level, the red and the blue, are necessary for the excess of kids in the district’s bands programs.
“The cellos all have to play the same stuff, the violins all have to play the same stuff, etc,” district cello player Parker Bennion said. “But there are different excerpts [of music] for each instrument. Sometime in the summer the KSMEA [Kansas Music Educators Association] post them on their website and you can print them off, and you are free to practice them if you want.”
Bennion had been practicing since the excerpts came out during the summer until the auditions.
After finding out that they made districts, the students were given music to start practicing for their respective concerts. The morning of the concert is the only time all the performers could practice together.
“We go early, and then you practice for a long time,” Bennion said. “And then there’s a concert at three.”.
The audition to make it into districts is also the audition that places choir students in state choir.
“From the same audition, the top ten for each section are placed in the state honor choir,” choir instructor Ken Foley said in an email interview.
These top ten, decided from choir students who made districts from around the district and judged by district critics, are not announced until this coming week. For band, however, there is a separate audition to make state that takes place in January, after the district concert.
“Every student has the same chance to make the choir,” Foley said. “It all depends on how hard they work to get prepared for the audition.”