Regional Band Competition

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Regional Band Competition The situation was insane. Not only did I have to make time in the busy schedule of my junior year to take a few days off from school to attend the District One East High School Band Festival, but I actually had to audition to get a decent seat. Don't get me wrong; I was thrilled about attending. I just wasn't looking forward to having to make up two day's worth of schoolwork. For once, I would be attending a festival where the seating arrangement wasn't based on how fast you could sprint to the stage from your seat in the auditorium, but on how talented of a musician you were. And the music for the audition? Amazingly difficult. I knew many of the other students from other competitions and festivals, so I was familiar with their talent and ability. Based on that knowledge, I decided that I had no chance of placing higher in the rankings than, say, a jar of mayonnaise. After diligently practicing - or cramming - the night before the audition, I felt I was as prepared as I'd ever be. Out of all the pieces we were given for the audition, my friends and I had narrowed it down to a few choices that the judges would most likely pick for the try-outs. From the three or four that we picked, we determined that the hardest song was Gustav Holst's "Second Suite in F." Fortunately, this song was one that I was familiar with already from concert band. I felt somewhat confident about the audition, but managed to convince myself that I'd be ecstatic if I placed any higher than last chair. I didn't even dream of placing high enough to be selected for Regional Band. The students with the highest scores at the District festivals were chosen to advance to the Regional competition. The first night of the District Band Festival, held at Yough Senior High School, took place on the evening of January 19, 2000. Cramming seven Hempfield students and one tuba into a mini-yellow bus, which we dubbed "The Sped Sled," we trekked through the blustery winter weather to the school. Surprisingly enough, we were early, giving us all a little more time to relax, warm-up, or practice music.
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