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Photo by Maya Bell
Photo by Maya Bell

All-State orchestra, band members prepare for concerts

From Wednesday through Saturday, 12 RBHS students will spend hours preparing for their respective Missouri All-State Band (MASB) and Missouri All-State Orchestra (MASO) concerts. The students will reside, rehearse and perform at the Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, Mo. The final concerts for both the MASB and MASO will be Saturday afternoon.

Junior Sejoon Jun, one of the 12 students selected, is excited to play in the MASO for the third time this year.

Jun made the MASO the past two years with the violin, and was the concertmaster for the 2017 MASO. After making it his freshman year, he wanted to continue to be involved with the MASO community. Jun’s passion for making music attracted him to audition for the MASO, which is known for amassing a group of phenomenal high school musicians.

“When I first auditioned my freshman year, I was incredibly nervous and felt very scared to play in front of the [blind] judges,” Jun said. “However [after I got in the MASO], I felt more comfortable and relaxed as I auditioned each subsequent year, since I knew what the process was going to be like.”

When Jun found out he made the 2018 MASO, he couldn’t wait to go back to the Tan-Tar-A Resort. For Jun, being a part of the MASO is an opportunity that does not come often, which is why he continues to audition each year in order to gain a memorable experience.

Chamber and concert orchestra teacher Alison Schmidt is excited and proud of all of the musicians who made the MASO and MASB. On top of this, Schmidt mentions there are also some choir students who will be attending the Missouri All State Choir (MASC), which means the three RBHS music departments are represented in the 2018 Missouri All State music groups.

“I think [getting in to MASO and MASB] shows how dedicated the students of RBHS fine arts are and how supported they are in this environment,” Schmidt said. “It shows [their] hard work and commitment to accomplishing goals.”

One of the most valuable things Schmidt and her orchestra students learned at the MASO last year was general musicianship. This means they learn how to be better musicians, work with various groups of people, ways to be successful in their musical skills, how different directors and teachers teach different ways and how to adapt to changes and much more.

“[The students] learn the value of practice and hard work by exhibiting qualities required to play at such an advanced level,” Schmidt said. “They meet people from all over the state, which gives them the opportunity to learn from others and discover the different ways in which people learn. It [truly] gives insight into the various backgrounds that are represented throughout the state of Missouri.”

Senior Tricia Carver-Horner agrees with Jun and Schmidt that the experience at Tan-Tar-A Resort is a great opportunity to soak in musical knowledge. Furthermore, she is excited to play with other outstanding musicians from Missouri. After being an honorable mention for the 2017 MASB, she was exhilarated when she found out she got in to the 2018 MASB as a clarinet player.

“I was really nervous [for my audition] because I knew it was my last chance to make All State since I’m a senior and I hadn’t made it the other three years that I tried out,” Carver-Horner said. “The whole time, I just had to keep reminding myself to breathe and calm down because I knew that I had practiced and could play all of the music well.”

When explaining how she got in to the 2018 MASB, Carver-Horner credits how fortunate she is for going to a school that has such a good band program. The RBHS band community has helped her finetune some of her craft and for her, having a family that supports her music career encouraged her even more.

[quote]“[The students] meet people from all over the state, which gives them the opportunity to learn from others and discover the different ways in which people learn,” Schmidt said. [/quote]

“I also can say that practice goes a long way towards success,” Carver-Horner said. “And being committed towards achieving a goal such as being in the [MASB] helps [me] focus [during] practice and helped me become a better musician.”

Carver-Horner, along with junior Jackson Dampier, will be a part of the 2018 MASB. Dampier, who is the first chair trumpet player for the 2018 MASB, auditioned with Carver-Horner for the MASB at Hickman in early December of 2017.

“I have been preparing for the concert about for about two to three hours every week, as this music is especially difficult,” Dampier said. “I have been taking private lessons from Amber Quest, where we would review the audition material every week preparing for the audition.”

In his first year, Dampier looks forward towards playing in the MASO and is excited to soak up as much knowledge and fun the experience provides him. Dampier, Carver-Horner and Jun all plan to continue to practice their music every day in order to be fully prepared for the multiple rehearsals awaiting in the future days. They will all have to stay up late due to late rehearsals and consistent practicing, but acknowledge that it is important for them to refine their respective pieces.

“I will [continue to] prepare [for the final concert] by listening to the assigned music,” Jun said. “Practicing the music rigorously [this final] week before the festival is [crucial].”

Have you heard these musicians play? What did you think?

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