By Makayla Garcia & Emily Major:
Throughout the 2nd semester, chosen band students attend many honor bands throughout the state.
Mr. Akers says, “Honor bands give students the opportunity to learn from expert directors and interact with high school level musicians from many schools. It’s a great opportunity to study and learn music.”
Students receive the opportunity to travel to schools such as Virginia Tech, Marshall University, which included approximately 400 students from 65 different schools, and West Virginia University. During their travels, students audition for a placement, practice with the group they’re placed in and then perform at a concert open to the public.
Requirements depend on the hosting school; however, most students are chosen randomly to participate. The only requirement from Mr. Akers is that students participate in the WV All State program.
The honor bands typically begin on either Thursday or Friday, which is when auditions take place. Then they practice until Sunday, when a concert is held to celebrate the accomplishments of the musicians over the previous weekend.
Kali Mills, a student who’s participated at Virginia Tech and Marshall Honor Bands said, “I meet so many people from different schools and make great music with strangers.”
These honor bands give students many experiences to better their talents and make new friends.