West Virginia Honor Band


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The music program at North Harford opens plenty of opportunities for musically inclined students. West Virginia University has provided an opportunity for high school students to experience their college band.

West Virginia University had an invitational honor band where students from different high school bands are placed into one of three bands based on and audition. The students leave on Thursday to go to the college and spend the next two days rehearsing for a final performance on Saturday. The students from North Harford include junior, Brett Sellers and sophomores, Lynne Thomas and Toby Ziegler. “West Virginia University contacts schools in a multi-state vicinity and they ask band teachers to nominate a few students”. Ziegler said.

The students selected had to submit applications to be a part of the honor band. Thomas says the application asked if you were majoring in music, if they were in any honor bands or solo and ensembles, and if they planned on going to West Virginia University for college.

After a long six hour drive the three musicians arrived at West Virginia University. When they got there they first registered, warmed up, and went through the sight reading audition. The audition determined what seat they would receive for the rehearsals and performance. For Zeigler he described his audition as “it could’ve of gone better than it did, but overall it went well.” For Sellers, he says that “nothing there was too hard but they went about it was a little weird and kinda set me off.” The percussion professor in charge of the percussion audition had Sellers sing a scale and then tune the timpani’s by ear after singing the scale.

One the second day of the honor band event the 3 musicians received their audition chair results. Thomas and Ziegler were placed with the Illinois band. After meeting the conductor they spent the whole mourning learning the music for the concert the next day. The band spent 6 hours, 2 three-hour sessions, working on the music. Sellers met a quest composer from Florida state. After 3 hours of working they had lunch and then had a master class, (A class held by a real professional), with one of the professors from West Virginia. “He went over swiss style marching drumming. That’s a whole technique and like a whole new way of music”. Sellers said.

The trio got to experience and learn new music with new people. Sellers found that it was fun to work with a band that’s full of people who want to be there. Zeigler found the performance fantastic and Thomas thought the music was fun but challenging. “It was great to work with a director that made rehearsal fun and really stayed positive and really helped us learn the music and made us play the best we we could with only learning the music in 9 hours”. Thomas expressed.

The band’s final performance went well. The musicians like it and the band got through it no problem. Thomas said the parts that where a concern in rehearsal were “perfect”.

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