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Students selected for District Honor Band

Members of the NEKMEA District Honor Band pose with their instruments.

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Members of the NEKMEA District Honor Band pose with their instruments.

Lizzy Arnold, News Editor

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This year, there were eight De Soto High School band members who were selected to play in the Northeast Kansas Music Educators Association District Honor Band. The band is constructed of the top performing students in the area, who audition for the limited number of seats in the band. Students auditioned on the morning of Nov. 4 at Olathe East High School.

The students accepted were senior Jared Carlton for the bassoon, senior Zach Yarbrough for the euphonium, senior Quinton Marschall for the contrabass clarinet, juniors Savannah Stine and Daniel Smith for the trombone and sophomore Josh Daniels for the trumpet.

Along with these students, senior Trenton Biggerstaff was selected as French horn alternate and sophomore Connor Cravens was selected as an alternate for baritone saxophone.

In the competition, students audition pieces of music that they have memorized, scales as well as a sight reading piece. They are judged by sound alone, as the judges are on the other side of a sheet that is put up inside the audition room.

Smith was excited to hear about his selection, and he felt that his efforts and practice have helped him improve after being chosen as a second alternate last year.

“I was very happy to have made it, we get our excerpts over the summer, and we pretty much work up until auditions with it. I’m glad my results showed all the effort I put into it,” Smith said.

Yarbrough enjoys participating in District Honor Band and believes it is a great way to push musicians to higher standards by stepping out of their school environment.

“The honor band itself allows the foremost musicians in our area to gather and work together, all while under the direction of a prominent music educator,” Yarbrough said. “Such chances rarely come around, and we come out of the day greatly improved.”

This is the DHS band’s first year participating in the 5A competition, which is larger and more selective than last year when the band was in 4A.

“It is definitely harder to achieve [a spot] now that we are in 5A because last year we were able to send way more band members than we did this year,” Smith said. “With the larger schools all competing it’s definitely harder.”

The selected students will attend a convention held on Dec. 2 at Blue Valley High school to practice and rehearse all day before their concert, which will be held later in the evening.

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Students selected for District Honor Band