West students make up most of All-City Band

Megan Battleson, Staff Writer

Last Wednesday night, family and friends gathered to watch some of the best musicians District 6 has to offer.
In November, band students across the district recorded auditions on etudes to determine their acceptance and placement in the ensemble. West had 28 musicians make the group of the 67, five of which were section leaders.

The group had two rehearsals for two hours each. The first rehearsal was reserved for sectionals, with the follow up night rehearsal for whole ensemble practice. Wednesday required a day-long commitment working the pieces to be performed. Musicians showed up to Northridge for a three-hour morning rehearsal before dismissing for a brief lunch break to be spent with peers across the ensemble. Another three-hour rehearsal at the Union Colony Civic Center followed the break.

After a two-and-a-half hour break, the musicians then returned to the Union Colony Civic Center for the concert that the day had led up to. The middle school ensemble promptly kicked the night off with a four-piece set. High school musicians got to enjoy the younger musicians’ repertoire before taking stage themselves.

The high school ensemble also performed a four piece set under the direction of Scott Hagen, the Director of Bands at the University of Utah. They began their portion of the concert with “Joy Revisited,” an energetic interpretation of the joy that comes with the birth of a child. In the middle of the program, Hagen delivered an emotional background about the upcoming lyrical piece, “Mountain Thyme” by Samuel Hazo. “Mountain Thyme” was inspired by the tragic loss of the commissioner’s two-year-old son, Garrett. The piece held a special place in everyone’s heart that night as it marked what would have been Garrett’s ninth birthday. The group brought the night to an end with “Solstice Dance”, an interpretation of a winter solstice celebration in Ireland.

The last piece was met with a standing ovation from the audience that made all of the hard work pay off. “I felt like the concert went really good because the audience was really happy and it made me really happy,” freshman Linda Maturino said.