Band To Preform At Symphony Center

Jon Kealey, Staff Writer

Band students will have the opportunity to perform in the Master of Music Festival, at the Symphony Center in Chicago on Saturday, April 21st.
“Orchestra hall is one of those bucket list things for me. I’ve always wanted to have a group play at orchestra hall. It’s where some of the very best musicians in the world have performed, it’s like the Carnegie Hall of Chicago,” Dan Valkema, band director, said.
The band will be performing a 20 minute program that will be followed by a 30 minute clinic with a prestigious conductor.
“I’m very excited! It’s going to be an interesting experience. I think we’re going to do pretty well; we’ve done well with every event we’ve had this year,” Megan Allensworth, senior, said.
“We’ll have a few pieces that are perfect for it. It’s a great opportunity we are lucky to have,” Paige Smith, senior, said.
The band has spent all year preparing for constant performances and know better than anyone that to get to this point requires commitment and effort, regardless of difficulty.
“Knowing where we’re going to be and that other schools and people will be there that have never heard us before and probably will never hear us again is nerve wracking,” Smith said.
“It’s hard because sometimes you get more challenging pieces that you have to practice more for, and then to be playing at such a nice hall makes it a bit more difficult,” Allensworth said.
“We always try to perform at a really high level; however, knowing that we’re going to be in this environment, on stage, at an event like this, I think the students will take it upon themselves to prepare more diligently,” Valkema said.
Having made it clear that they will be ready for the challenge, the confidence level of the program is as strong as ever.
“It’s stressful knowing how big this will be, but I know we’ll have practice in class and that we’re going to do great. The stress won’t outweigh the excitement. In the end, it’s just another concert,” Jessica Orden, senior, said.
This experience is one never seen before for the school and holds the potential to make a great impact on students and teachers alike.
“I’m hoping that this will be an experience they will remember forever, one of those lifelong memories of their high school band experience,” Valkema said.