Talented Band Students Play in Honor Band Concert

Talented Band Students Play in Honor Band Concert

The annual Tri Peaks League Honor Bands Concert was held on Tuesday, November 10th.

Auditions were held on October 7th. The day after auditions, students who tried out awaited the news. Six made it in.

Those who participated in the event spent roughly 15 hours practicing, roughly 8 hours the first day and 6 the next. After the practice with the group, students went home to practice on their own.

The Manitou Springs School District has been hosting the event for many years, in the auditorium. The band teacher notified students about the upcoming concert, and suggested they try out.

Although 2 days to perfect a concert seems disastrous, the students were confident in their abilities, and did not feel stressed.

Agnes Navaratne (12), who plays Alto Saxophone, had no doubts of her getting into the honor band. In fact, she has been welcomed every year. This year, she placed first chair.

“By the end of practice on Tuesday, the inside of my lip was bleeding from too much playing,” said Navaratne.

Navaratne was given a solo for the concert, playing “Cajun Folk Songs” by Frank Ticheli. The solo did not add to the already building stress of the event, as she had been playing the song throughout her high school career. She explains she could have played the solo from memory  

“You spend all this time surrounded by the best players in the Tri Peaks league, and every single person in the room has a passion for music. It’s so different to every-day band class. We are able to play such impressive music in such a short amount of time; it’s extremely satisfying,” said Navaratne.

Marc Ekker (11) does not expect to have a music-oriented future. Yet, he is very music-oriented now, in high school. Ekker is a percussionist, and in the concert he played the tambourine, bass drum, triangle, snare drum, tenor drum, toms, and suspended cymbal. He made second chair.

“Two days time to put on such a show truly is a fun event to live,” said Ekker.

“This event is helpful in the near future as it gives me practice and builds skills to be able to get in other honor bands. I would love to continue music after high school and this band will look good on an application to a music based school.” Said Alena Akse (10), who made third chair.

Max Hexom (11) put in nearly 26 hours practicing for the event. Hexom plays the trumpet, and plans to continue playing music in the future.

“I was confident that I could greatly improve the group as a whole, and to better myself as an individual.” Hexom said.

The individuals in the event will most likely audition next year.