Band festival offers instuction, performance opportunties


Iris Wright

Band member Robyn Aparri, junior, plays clarinet at the Plainfield Invitational Concert Band Festival on March 2.

Iris Wright, Website editor

The Plainfield Invitational Concert Band Festival featured performances from 18 bands from 10 high schools and one middle school last Saturday. Two of these bands were the PHS Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. Each band performed within a 25-minute interval followed by a 25-minute clinic.
“It is a showcase of different bands in our area,” Jordan Camacho, junior trombone player in Wind Ensemble, said. “It’s an opportunity for them to grow because we have the clinics.”
This year the annual festival saw some changes, like an end to middle school bands performing in the main gym. Instead, all bands performed in the auditorium.
“I think it’s a lot less stressful in the sense that we’re not working in both the gym and the auditorium, but it’s also longer,” Abigail Dolata, senior volunteer in Wind Ensemble, said. “I’m going to be here for 12 hours.”
Acting partially as a fundraiser for the PHS band, PICBF depends on volunte, like Dolata, who run the festival’s innerworkings.
“I’ve been on stage crew every year, and this year’s a little bit harder, because we’re not doing two different areas,” Camacho said. “It’s cool because you get to hear all the bands instead of half of them.”
Like the stage crew, audience members who watched bands in the auditorium had the chance to see all performing bands in one location. The audience, though, was scarce throughout the day, and bands performed to many empty seats. Even without an audience, though, the bands may have benefited from their clinician’s feedback.
“He [our clinician] was really good. He was informative, and he really helped us,” Georgia Jackson, sophomore trumpetist from Symphonic band, said. “We learned more about tone and how, as a band, when we’re all working together, we have a good tone, but sometimes when it’s just a solo, or it’s just one section playing, we can improve.”
Other band members disagree that their clinicians offered any helpful comments but agree that PICBF’s clinics could be instrumental to improvement.
“These clinics could be very helpful for figuring out how to play a piece better, especially if you continue on with it afterwards,” Dolata said.
For the two PHS bands, though, PICBF marks their final performance of the pieces chosen for it. The Thursday before, they performed the pieces in a concert.
“I’d say we definitely did better Thursday,” Luis Gustavo Rivera Deleon, freshman in Symphonic Band, said.
Many of the volunteers worked from 7 a.m. to their performance, which, for Wind Ensemble members, was the final performance of the festival.
“Personally, I think I did better than Thursday.” J. J. Silva, junior saxophonist in Wind Ensemble, said. “The band may have done better, but it is 7 p.m. and we are all tired.”