WRHS Band

Major Copeland, Writer

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At Washburn Rural High School, the music department offers many opportunities for students involved in any of the branches of this department.

For band in particular, there are many opportunities for students to perform independently and try and make it into elite bands or to perform independently and get awards that are completely their own. These experiences offer a chance for students to improve their performance on their own, outside of class itself. Some of the competitions include, District Auditions and Solo Fest.

Auditions are provided to different sections of instrumental students in Kansas. Students must audition independently to make it into one of the District Honors Bands which takes the best of those who audition and hold a concert with these players.

The concert will be held Dec. 3rd at Seaman High School. This is a unique experience for many at Washburn Rural High School due to the fact that they will be placed in an ensemble with players that they may have never met before.

This is a different experience than many other honor bands that the students may get a chance to perform in. This is because the students only time to rehearse with the ensemble will be on the day of the concert. Students will arrive at 7 am and then practice until 3 pm, when the concert is set to begin.

This gives students not only audition practice but they also get to experience what it is like to get a short amount of time to prepare a presentable piece of works. Auditions and performances such as these force instrumentalist to take time to practice their instruments outside of band classes.

It also allows them to understand the audition process so they can prepare accordingly for other auditions whether they be for the High School band or other ensembles that require an audition. There are a variety of different ensembles and auditions to audition for. The procedures for competition auditions are the same as those for ensemble auditions but the result is much different.

In an ensemble audition one is auditioning for a spot in an elite band, whereas an audition at a solo or ensemble competition earns an individual or group points by several judges, these points are then totaled for a score which is awarded to the bands.

These scores boil down to a one two and a three. One being the best and three being the worst. Bands do these competitions for reputation rather than a spot in another ensemble.

Even so, if the ensemble or soloist receives a one, depending on the competition, there may be an opportunity to enter another competition with the much more advanced bands/ soloist that also received ones.

This sense of competition can benefit the instrumentalist in more ways than one. There is pressure because everyone wants to execute their audition flawlessly so that they can achieve their goal to do well and advance. It can also helped those in an ensemble to work harder and become a cohesive unit due to the fact that they all have a common goal that they want to achieve.

Overall, auditions, although a somewhat painful part of the music world, are very critical to any instrumentalist. The many factors that go into additions help further the fundamental understanding of how to handle the situation. Also how to prepare for the audition so the instrumentalist can be successful. Even though they are dreaded and looked down upon, they may be more of a friend than a foe.

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