Students prepped for band tryouts

Published 3:00 am Saturday, January 17, 2015

By Ngoc Vo

Scores of students in District VIII is coming to Troy Elementary school to participate in All-State Band audition this Saturday.

The Charles Henderson High School Band Foundation hosts the event every year for the Alabama Bandmasters Association, said CHHS band director Trent Burkett.

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“Students from the entire south eastern corner of Alabama is coming, some have to travel a couple of hours to get here,” Burkett said.

Schools had to pre-register their students who want to try out for the All-State Band in December. Students must re-audition every year to remain in the band.

According to Burkett, approximately 500 students will be competing for 60 spot in the State Honor Band and the District Honor Band.

“We have a quota system for positions in each category, for different instruments,” he said.

Burkett broke down the figure, saying that 150 students in middle school will compete for 15 spots and 350 high school students will for 45 spots.

CHHS, CHMS and Goshen High School are the participating school in Pike County.

The audition process will start at 9 a.m. and will end around noon or 1 p.m., depending on how quick the organizers move the students, Burkett said.

There will be one round of audition where students will perform individually on their instruments. They will be asked to play one prepared piece, scales and cite read a piece. Participants will be given a score from a panel of judges consisting of the band directors of high schools and middle schools in the district, Burkett said.

No audience is allowed in the audition area. Parents are arranged to wait in the TES cafeteria.

Students will be ranked by the scores. The result will be posted on the same day.

“This audition is really important for the band students,” he said. “A lot of them have been practicing for months. You have to practice, that is the most important thing. You are auditioning against the top players in the district.”

Burkett said it is an honor to be selected to perform with all the best players in the State of Alabama.

“Our number of participants in the District and State Honor Bands has grown, almost doubled each year,” he said. “More students are interested in auditioning. It’s good to have students selected to play in Honor Bands because they strengthen our group here in the middle school and high school.”

The chosen District Honor Band will play in March in Enterprise, and the State Honor Band will perform in April in Mobile.