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Marching band to concert band: What does it entail?

Joel Kachappilly, Staff Contributor

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As the first couple months of school and many fall sports and activities come to a close, there is one activity that over 300 people at our school have finished: marching band. After five amazing performances at the home football games, the marching band is now transitioning fully into concert band season. However, they aren’t putting their instruments down just yet.

Concert band is somewhat of an ordeal to set up in the beginning. The first step to transitioning to concert band starts as early as mid-to-late September with auditions. For the first round, students play a handful of etudes that they have never seen before. This is to judge their sight-reading, the process of playing through a piece for the first time.

During the second round of auditions, students play through as many scales as they can from memory in under two minutes. They then play some pieces that they have been preparing for about one week.

This process is used to separate everyone into 4 different concert bands. The ninth graders are all placed in concert band while other classes are spread throughout three other bands based on their audition. The best auditions go to wind symphony, and the musicians who have room to improve are placed in symphonic band.

There are many advantages to concert band, such as the different style of music from marching band and the higher amount of attention paid to making sure every single piece is played well. In marching band, the focus is spread between marching and playing, but in concert band, students are able to focus solely on playing as well as they can. Shreya Khurjekar, senior and four year band participant, says, “My favorite part of concert band is having repertoire that is actually challenging in comparison to marching band.” This is exactly why many people are such big fans of being in concert band for a majority of the year. Khurjekar also stated, “There’s so many less people that you can focus on things like intonation so much better which really helps the band sound a lot better.” These are some of the many benefits to moving into concert band.

Although concert band is very exciting, marching band was still extremely fun for many others. Alexander Haack, senior and four year band participant, said, “Nothing beats marching band, but it’s fun to play new styles of music with a smaller group of people.” This love for marching band will still live on in all of the band members’ hearts, but as concert band begins to kick off, many people are starting to get comfortable with being in concert band for the rest of the year.

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Marching band to concert band: What does it entail?