1A, 2A, and 3A middle and high schools in the Central Texas Region came together to audition for a chance to play in the Centex Honor Band last week. The Bison Brigade participated in the competition and had some good results, with six high school and two junior high members earning spots.
“We have practiced for this for a while,” senior Jose Sanchez said. “This year, we did a lot better than we usually have in the past.”
For the high school Centex audition, students have to learn two pieces of music before the blind audition. The songs are cut into sections and the students are told which section they will play the day of the competition.
“I wasn’t too worried about this section of the audition,” freshman Omar Almeida said. “It is still scary, but because you are able to practice for a while beforehand makes it easier.”
After this portion of the competition, the students then have to play a “sight piece”. A “sight piece” is sheet music that the students are given 30 seconds to look at and play to the best of their ability. The judges then select the top performers and those students are given the chance to play in the Honor Band.
“For me, this is the scariest part,” Sanchez said. “30 seconds goes by really quick when you are pushing for time.”
Those that make it into the Honor Band are given music that the rehearse with directors and a great conductor/clinician for a professionally recorded concert.
“The whole experience helps grow our confidence and it is always so interesting,” Almeida said. “I was one of the people from Buffalo who were blessed to be able to participate.”
Senior Megan Wedhorn made fifth chair concert band on clarinet and first chair symphonic band on Bass Clarinet and Sanchez made fourth chair symphonic band.
“I’m glad I made the Honor Band, especially since it’s my last year to do this,” Sanchez said. “It’s not every day that you get the chance to play alongside the best in Central Texas.”
Other students who made the Honor Band include Almeida who made ninth chair concert band, junior Ernesto Dominguez made seventh chair concert band, and freshman Luis Carrillo made seventh chair symphonic band.
“This experience was really cool since it was sort of my first year,” Almeida said. “This is something I want to strive to do all four years of high school.”
This year’s Bison Brigade had the most students audition for the Honor Band and make it on to the short list of selected participants.
“I wasn’t really that surprised to see how many of us actually were selected for the Honor Band because we’ve been practicing for a while,” Almeida said. “I’m glad I can share this experience with some pretty great people.”
The students will perform in the CENTEX Honor Band in the coming weeks. Until then, the students will be practicing for their professional recording of the concert.
“I love music and I love band,” Sanchez said. “I am really glad I was able to go out with a bang in my final year doing something I truly love.”