Students audition for district and state band

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Maria Miranda

State band alternate junior Claudia Schmitz plays her flute during the annual Christmas concert.

Makayla Mais, Staff Writer

At state band auditions Dec. 6, junior flute player Claudia Schmitz scored a spot. Schmitz is ranked fifteenth in the state and as a second alternate.

Twenty band students made a journey to the University of Central Missouri’s music hall to audition for a spot in district band.

Band director Ben Johnson is very proud of Schmitz’s achievement.

“It’s been a very long time since we’ve had a student in the top state honor band,” Johnson said. “I’m proud of her achievement and I’m looking forward to her auditions next year.”

Schmitz is proud of her achievement.

“It was a good experience, and I know what I need to do next year,” Schmitz said.

Junior tenor sax player Austin Reynolds and flute player Claudia Schmitz, and sophomore euphonium player Nate Townley qualified for district honor band. Senior clarinet player Ellie Register, juniors Reynolds and trombone player Andrew Savage, and sophomore trumpet player Corey Nahrstedt and sophomore tuba player Chris Bozarth qualified for district honorable mention band.

“I have been practicing since June,” Schmitz said. “When auditions are closer, I spend at least an hour a day.”

Auditioning for district band takes a lot of time.

“It’s a blind audition,” director Ben Johnson said. “You go in the room, you play a chromatic scale, two  major scales chosen by the judge, a selection of music, which is fairly hard. It’s a total of seven minutes.”

Register describes her experience during her audition.

“You go in, and you have scales,” Register said. “One judge asks you to play a chromatic scale, and two other scales, and then you start your other music.”