By: Elijah Hill, Contributing Writer
CHS students attending conference at Monroe City High School. Not pictured: Elijah Hill.
Centralia High School band, under instruction of Mrs. Kimberly Neighbors has had overwhelming success at district and conference band auditions. District band auditions were November 6, at Moberly High School, and conference band auditions were November 16 at Monroe City High School.
District and conference band auditions consist of two parts depending on the section. A room where you play a few scales on your instrument and a room where you play solo songs. Conference band auditions consist of eight schools, while district band auditions consist of over twenty-five schools, the largest music district in Missouri, all competing for the top chairs/placements.
District band put on their concert, November 11, at Truman State University. To watch the amazing performance put on by these musically achieving students, you can watch at the following link: https://m.youtube.com/live/xym3d68NNGk?si=ZlJqxEsjWGHNnJod.
Four students from CHS went to compete in district band. Trombone players: Susanna Nix and Tylor Taylor, clarinet player: Bre Crockett and trumpet player: Lane Chancellor. Despite these small numbers, Centralia had overwhelming success in districts. Susanna Nix placed sixth chair out of thirty-six trombones, Bre Crockett placed fourteenth chair out of thirty five auditioning clarinets and Lane Chancellor placed tenth chair out of forty auditioning trumpets.
“For me, the actual nerves of the audition were the hardest. Like obviously you know you're going to be judged, but when you actually get in the room with the judges, it's like the air just clogs your throat,” stated Nix.
Twenty CHS students competed in conference bandon November 16. Flute players: Brooke Whitlatch, Lea Whisler and Wendi Hargis, clarinet players: Bre Crockett, Natalie Mistkowski, Abby McSparren and Melody Caballero, bass clarinet player: Addison Lewis, tenor player: Skylar Nichols, saxophone players: Izzie George and Hayden McSparren, trumpet players: Amy Pendergrast and Lane Chancellor, trombone players: Tylor Taylor, Susanna Nix, Mac Dollens and Christopher Marcellus, bass player: Levi Strain and percussionists: Elijah Hill and Elle Elliot.
The placements at conference went as follows. Flutes: Brooke Whitlatch, ninth, Wendi Hargis, tenth and Lea Whisler, thirteenth. Clarinets: Bre Crockett, second, Abby McSparren, fourth, Natalie Mistowski, ninth. Bass clarinet: Addison Lewis, first. Tenor saxaphone: Skylar Nichols, fourth. Trumpets: Lane Chancellor, first and Amy Pendergast, sixth. Trombones: Susanna Nix, second, Tylor Taylor, fifth, Mac Dollens, sixth and Christopher Marcellus, seventh. Percussionist: Elijah Hill, fifth.
“I did conference band my freshman year and got ninth out of eighteen chairs. Sophomore year, I got first chair out of twelve, eight of which were Macon clarinets. I tried out that year for districts as well and made All-District Band at fourteenth chair out of sixteen. I was hoping for the first chair again this year at conference, or at least a high placement, but I’m satisfied with my seat,” Bre Crockett, on her placements for conference band in the past years.
Conference band will have rehearsals in the CHS gym and a concert at Clark County High School on February 3. Students who made it to conference band will also go on a tour of Highland, Clark County and Monroe City schools, playing for each student body on February 7, 2024.
“I am thrilled with how energetic our band program is! It warms my heart to see so many kids eager to work hard, better themselves, and go for all the music opportunities they can. It is not easy making these honor bands, and requires so much hard work and dedication. I love it when they are rewarded with an enjoyable music experience they will take with them forever,” stated Neighbors.