On Dec. 2, seniors Reid Bissen, Casey Bowers and Mackenzie Bowers sang and played in the high school District Honor Band/Choir concert. Bissen and Casey Bowers played in the band, and Mackenzie Bowers sang in the choir. The concert, which was in Junction City, was a chance to have talented young musicians and singers present their talents. The three qualifiers had to complete a successful audition before being accepted into the band or choir. “You have a prepared piece that everyone gets, and you have to practice that on your own at home before, and it is very, very difficult music,” Bissen said. “So, you go, and it’s in front of a blind judge. Then, they’ll ask you to play the prepared piece, and then after that, you’ll play some scales, and then there was a sight reading section, where there would be a piece of music that you’ve never seen before and then you’d have to play it on the spot for the judges.”
Nervousness and excitement were emotions that the three qualifiers said they felt as they auditioned and performed. “I was so nervous because I was, like, one of the low numbers, so I knew I was going to be one of the first ones to go,” Mackenzie Bowers said. “And, so, I was totally nervous and felt like I was so unprepared, but I went in there, and rocked it, I guess.”
Band director Elizabeth Janssen and choir director Todd Walters were very proud of their students.
“I was super excited for them,” Janssen said. “They had worked really hard on that music and to get there.”
Although Janssen was happy for those that made it, she was disappointed for those that did not qualify.
“I was kind of bummed,” Janssen said. “We had six audition, and only those two made it. Like, [senior] Alexa Goforth was the first alternate for the flute section, and she worked her tail off on that music, and when she didn’t make it, it was kind of heartbreaking. I was obviously very happy for the two that made it and got in.”
Participating in band and choir has definitely impacted these students’ lives.
“It [choir] has helped me become a better musician, it’s helped me become more focused on my goals and it’s just helped me become more responsible and flexible because music is crazy,” Mackenzie Bowers said.
Article by Riggs Schlochtermeier, staff member
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Janssen, band director