Band wraps up monumental year
As the school year and band season both come to a close, band participants reflect on the season’s accomplishments.
Band director Jeremy Loui said the ensemble was busy with many opportunities throughout the year.
“We had a lot of off-campus events this season. We competed at the Edwardsville Tiger Ambush Classic and were named the grand champion there. We were also named the grand champion at the Lafayette Contest of Champions. We were top 10 finalists at the Tulsa Renegade Review. We also competed at the Bands of America St. Louis Super-regional in Oct. In Feb the jazz band traveled to Chicago and placed top 3 in the Jazz in the Meadows Festival. That’s only the second time [the band has placed that high] in school history. Both the concert band and wind ensemble competed at the MSHSAA Contest in March. At that competition the concert band was rated ‘Outstanding’ and the wind ensemble received an ‘Exemplary’ rating. Those are the top two ratings that a band can receive. Percussion had a major performance at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Dec which is the largest conference in the world for that.” Loui said.
The directors worked hard to give students a variety of unique learning opportunities, Loui said.
“We welcomed a bunch of guest artists and clinicians this year. Specifically a composer by the name of Carol Brittin Chambers came in and worked with us on some music that she had written. We also had a number of other university professors come in and work with our students throughout the year,” Loui said.
Looking forward to next year, Loui said the class of 2023 has left an impact on the group that won’t be forgotten. Additionally, Loui said the directors are eager for a band trip that has personal significance for them.
“We’re tremendously proud of [the students’] hard work and efforts throughout the year and we’re really excited about the legacy that our seniors have left and what we’re going to continue to build upon next year. One of the things that we’re really excited about is that we’re going to travel to Springfield, Missouri for a performance in Oct 2023 which will be a lot of fun. I think that will be impactful because Mr. Pace, Mr. Repp, and I all went to college either for our bachelors or masters degree at Missouri State University so that’s a place we’ve all made a significant connection with,” Loui said.
For senior percussionist Jenny Reiter, this season had many lasting memories.
“Post-concert Culver’s runs were one of the best memories of the season and just being able to hang out with everybody in percussion was so fun. It’s really fun to be in the back of the band and play music while still having fun. For marching band, this was definitely a fun season to end on and we had a lot of good camaraderie. It was a good season, we won a lot of awards and I’m sad it’s over. I feel bittersweet though because I’m also glad that I got to be there,” Reiter said.
One of the best learning experiences for Reiter also showed her the good spirit of the band and their determination, Reiter said.
“I feel like I learned a lot when we had to practice for [the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic] as a percussion ensemble, it was a lot of hard work and a lot of preparation. We all dedicated a lot of time to that one performance. It was definitely interesting to see everyone working really hard, it was very impactful,” Reiter said.
With new faces being added to the band’s line-up, Reiter said the teachers and students adapted well.
“We had a couple of new directors this year. I would thank them for being able to adjust to the students and be patient with us to make the program better,” Reiter said.