Weekend honor band brings students together to create beautiful music
By Nicole Burns for the FCT
Jan. 16, band members from across the area converged at Russellville High School to audition for and participate in the Northwest Alabama Honor Band. Phil Campbell High School Band Director Drew Bailey sent six students from his band program. “All six auditioned, made it and did quite well,” said Bailey.
PCHS band members said participating in events such as the NWA Honor Band brings great opportunity. “It’s very challenging,” said PCHS junior Jacob Litteral. “In a normal band setting, you’re trying to practice several pieces each week. Here, you’re learning three pieces of music in one day. You have rehearsal that morning, and then in the afternoon you’re performing for people. It’s very fast-paced. It’s enjoyable to know that you’re a part of a symphony that can learn music really fast and play it really well.”
“I like hanging out with all the band people from other schools and meeting new people. I like the challenge of learning new music all in one day,” said PCHS senior Isabella O’Neal.
Honor Band etiquette is old hat for most high school band members. They know the ins and outs of how to make an impression on the judges. “Acceptance is based on how well our performance is, how well we know our scales, chromatics and the prepared piece. Then, we’re ranked among the others who were accepted,” said Litteral.
While learning music at warp speed is a fun change of pace for students, these band members enjoyed making friendships even more. “You meet people who are just like you,” said PCHS sophomore Reyna Wingo. “It’s basically one big family that you meet and get to know during the two days. It’s really awesome.
“You get to take the knowledge that you know and combine it with their knowledge, and it all comes out to be beautiful music,” Wingo added.
PCHS eighth grader Chloe Carpentar said, “I don’t feel lonely afterwards.”
That’s music to any parent’s ears.