PMEA District II Band Festival: Six advance to regions

By Ally Shenk, Staff Writer

Musicians from forty schools took the stage Jan. 7-10. (Casey Fetzner/SHS)

Musicians from forty schools took the stage Jan. 7-10. (Casey Fetzner/SHS)

Saegertown High School played host to the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District II Band Festival last week (Jan. 7-10). One hundred-seventy students came from forty high schools across the three-county region to compete for a position in Region II Band, which will be held at Fort LeBoeuf High School in February.

The musicians were supposed to begin practice and participate in auditions on Wednesday night, but, due to weather delays, they didn’t start until Thursday, January 8. The community concert was held Friday at 8 p.m., with a second concert on Saturday at 1 p.m.  The guest conductor Robert W. Smith said, “Preparation was easy, and I got a sense of where the students were at skill wise.” The only difficulty he seemed to face was getting the students to play as a whole. Smith is a nationally known composer who has over 700 works to his name. Saegertown band director Mr. Patrick Baldwin called him a “rock star” among composers of concert band music.

Several students from Saegertown made it to the Region II Festival: seniors Kristina West, Matt Peters, and Makayla Miller; juniors Ben Courson and Jared Shaffer; and sophomore Jesse Stewart (who earned first chair in a field of eight tubas). “We learned how to transpose Mary had a Little Lamb,” said senior Kristina West. At Region Band, students will have the opportunity to compete for a position in All-State Band, which will be held in Hershey, Pa. To see more photos from the event, visit http://www.edline.net/pages/Saegertownjshs.

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