Last Wednesday, seven eighth grade band students from Lyons Middle Senior High School participated in the Saint Vrain Valley School District (SVVSD) Honor Band Concert. This event is a special opportunity for eighth grade band students who attend middle schools in the district. Rehearsals took place at both Longs Peak Middle School and Longmont High School, with the final concert held in the Longmont High School auditorium.
Qualifying for honor band selection is an involved process. Eighth grade band students who wish to try out must record an audition and submit it to their director to be evaluated. The band director then forwards nominations of the students they have chosen to the full honor band. According to Dr. Karen Gregg, band director at Lyons Middle Senior, only fifteen percent of eighth grade band students in the entire district are selected. Acceptance for the SVVSD honor band is considered a major accomplishment for the students.
The Lyons Middle School students brought a large contingent to the event, playing flute (Madison Shackelford), clarinet (Emma Johnson and Wyatt Waters), tenor saxophone (Sage Wynja), bassoon (Josie Gaines), French horn (Jordan Gaines), and euphonium (Jack Johann).
Dr. Gregg said about the experience, “I like the challenge of putting together a concert in just a couple of rehearsals.” The honor band played a total of five songs–remarkable because the students were able to assemble concert-ready music with just a few hours’ worth of rehearsals. When asked about how she felt while watching the concert, Dr. Gregg said, “I’m really proud that my students are a part of that, and why that succeeds.”
Participating in honor band leaves a lasting impression on all involved. Gaines, the lone bassoonist in the honor band from Lyons, said, “I think it was a really great experience, enlightening. It was a great learning opportunity, and an event where many people of the same level could come together.”
Emma is an eighth grade student at Lyons Middle Senior High School.