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Band and choir host district contest at JGHS

Aaron Laube Jon jee Editor Published: March 28, 2012 8:09 AM

Musicians at John Glenn High School are given a couple of opportunities to test themselves at adjudicated events. The first of these is Solo and Ensemble, where the students take the initiative to form a small group or prepare a solo piece to perform for the judges. For many years, the musicians and judges for this area would come to John Glenn High School for this event.

The past two years, the choir and band decided to host the districts other adjudicated event the large group Contest. This is the competition in which local high school bands and choirs, such as John Glenns concert band and symphonic choir, compete for ratings and a chance to advance to the state competition. Bands competed Friday, March 16 and choirs that Saturday.

The larger scale of the groups in this event presented a whole new challenge for the band and choir last year, and while choir director Greg Milleson has that experience to draw on, this is band director Jon Kelseys first time hosting this event. At Tri-Valley, I co-hosted Solo and Ensemble. So I had half the experience I need to get into this, joked Kelsey. However, they decided that large group would still be more doable than hosting Solo and Ensemble again. Solo and Ensemble requires 65-70 workers and 15 pianos, said Milleson.

This year, the two groups hosted Contest using only around 35 volunteers. The manpower has dwindled over the years, and the availability of pianos has diminished, continued Milleson.

To make the event a success, volunteers are needed to run the concession stand, lead groups where they need to go in the building, work as judges assistants and help set up and tear down. Most of these volunteers are either choir and band members or their parents. However, their ranks were bolstered by several band and choir alumni on spring break from college. I try to help out if I can, said alumnus Taylor Bugglin, who worked as a judges assistant for choir sight reading. Other alumni involved with the event included Cole Coulter, Kelsi Cummings, and Markie Secrest.

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It takes work to put an event like this on, but there are advantages that make it worthwhile. It makes it convenient because we dont have to travel far away, said junior Tim Neptune. That saves the choir money as well. By having concessions and volunteers its like a mini-fundraiser, said Milleson.

Hosting themselves is convenient from a performance perspective as well. Both groups were able to choose when they would perform during the day. The choir was the first group after the judges lunch break on Saturday, taking the gym floor at 1:30 pm. The band performed at 7 pm Friday. Theres also the advantage that theyre performing in a space theyre familiar with. It just feels comfortable and relaxed because I know what Im doing and where Im going, said senior Brandon Ryan.

Both the band and choir were successful. The band earned a rating of I, or superior and will advance to perform at state. The choir was given a rating of excellent (II) while orchestra also received an excellent rating at a separate event.I was so proud of the improvement weve made and the emotions we were able to convey, said senior Lauren Kasler of herself and fellow band members.

Kelsey agreed, saying, I feel as though it was an incredibly successful event. Though we were down in the number of participants for various reasons, I think things went very well, Kelsey said.

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