Wind Ensemble at State

Nick Conner, Reporter

On April 15th 2019, the Eaglecrest Wind Ensemble travelled to Fort Collins Colorado to participate in a state-wide competition. Out of thirty-two bands, Eaglecrest was one of the three Cherry Creek schools selected to attend. Out of 170 schools that auditioned at state, Eaglecrest wind ensemble was one of the twenty-seven schools to be judged with straight 1’s and dubbed the title, “Superior with Distinction”. At the actual competition, Eaglecrest performed with “Excellency” and were judged with straight 2’s across the board. Eaglecrest performed two pieces, “Florentiner March”, and “Blue and Green Music”.


Trumpet player, Andrew Bernal described the experience, “We did really well. Bands who make state often see [their] scores drop just because of how high-caliber the festival is. But, we did a really good a job not shrinking to the pressure. Coming out of the competition we felt really proud with what we put forth but we immediately went on to ask how we could have done better and I love that about this group.”


It is clear that success does not come without hard work, improvement and humility. Three traits wind ensemble carries proudly.


Bernal explained some of the band’s obstacles that had to be overcome in the state performance, “In preparation for the performance it was really hard to sustain the amount of practice time [that we needed for wind ensemble songs] while balancing other songs from other classes and just homework and social lives. During the performance though, you have to get over all your anxiety and just play. It’s a big stage and there’s a lot of good bands there. You have to remember that you’re there for a reason and you’re just as good as those other bands.”


Flute player, Kaitlyn Smith expressed her interpretation of the performance, “I really enjoyed how different we sounded as a whole in Fort Collins concert hall, considering it was designed to highlight concert band instruments.


Smith explained, “The emotion that we put into the music…we really left it all on the stage.”


Smith also commented on the skill she is working on the most, “Matching my section and making sure that i’m playing the right role in the context of the music.”


Ryan Abbott, another trumpet player, was very enthusiastic about his band’s success at state, stating “It went really well. We played really nicely and represented our school well.” But, he also wasn’t afraid to share a struggle the band grappled with before the performance, explaining “We had to learn at least one different song for our performance at state, so it was difficult getting a song state-ready in less than a month.”


Flute player, Jessica Wallace noted her favorite part of the performance as, “The emotion in “Blue and Green Music” because everyone in the band puts [their] all into [the performance] to convey a message and the audience heard it.”


When asked about the message that wind ensemble was transferring onto it’s listeners Wallace perceived, “A bunch of things. Happiness or hopefulness. Sadness and anger.”


Jessica’s experience with wind ensemble over the past year has been a productive one.


“For the most part, everyone in the class actually cares about music and wanting to be good and we all show that by practicing and focusing. The other ensembles are good but they aren’t as mature yet. We represent a lot for the program, but everyone is important.”


Wallace spent her favorite time with the wind ensemble in Grand Junction for a music festival from the 25th-27th of April and is looking forward to their final concert in the Eaglecrest theatre on May 7th.