Making Music at JeffCo

Elliana Hughes, Staff

As the band and choir gets ready for a competition, pressure increases. There has to be a certain amount of patience. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that most students don’t get to see. It’s go big or go home, or in musical terms, “go fortissimo or go home”

The State Music Festival is a band and choir competition in which many schools in Missouri compete. Mr. Brad Glore says, “The State Music Festival can be a nerve-racking experience if you don’t focus on your preparation. I try to prepare our students in such a way that they feel like the performance at Jefferson College in April is just another opportunity to play together and make music. Our band is a family and we cherish every opportunity that we get to play together. We focus on preparation, music making, and being the best musicians and band that we can possibly be. The performance at JeffCo will be a snapshot of our musical lives. No matter what the results are, we will use the experience to grow as musicians and people and be happy that we had the experience.”

To make each piece sound perfect is a lot of work. The band and choir put in hours of practice during and out of school. Senior Chance Inman says, “While making music should be fun and enjoyable, I think there should be some kind of pressure to make sure the band is prepared for our contest […].”

People sometimes don’t realize that performing in band and choir takes a lot of effort. They have to give it their all. First soprano and senior Grace Odell says, “I feel like there is a lot of pressure trying to prepare as many pieces as I am taking on. When you go to contest, you have to have everything memorized well enough so that when the nerves hit, you don’t forget everything you have to do.”

Sometimes it’s difficult to juggle your love for music and time spent with family. On top of that, you have to memorize multiple pieces of music, but that’s one of the greatest difficulties the people in band and choir have to overcome. Trumpeter and freshman Calista Strange says she would not trade being in band for anything else, “Band is literally my everything. It’s what is getting me through my first year of high school.”

The teachers have to practice as much as the students do, sometimes even more. Mrs. Bethany Ward says, “Ha! I practice all the time. I don’t think it would be fair for me to ask my students to take their music home and practice if I didn’t do the same. When I’m not practicing our school music, I am either working on something for my church choir or for the professional choir I sing with in Springfield, MO. I live, eat, breathe, and sleep vocal music.”

The pressure is especially on when you perform in a small group of people and your voice or sound is more exposed. As Reilly Noll puts it, “Being reduced to such a smaller group really allows for a more direct connection to your audience and for individual voices to stand out more.”

So with all this said let’s support our choir and band as they compete at JeffCo!