Competition in the Region

Band members audition for 2020 All-Region bands

Emily Rutledge, Editor

The 2020 All-Region band auditions, hosted by the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association, are set to be held Sat. Jan. 11 at Benton Middle School.     

 The Arkansas School Band & Orchestra Association was established in 1930 as the Arkansas Band Association, becoming officially known as “ASBOA” after 1935. ASBOA hosts the state’s band events, ranging from State Marching Band and Concert Assessments to Solo and Ensembles, All-Region and All-State auditions and clinics.

Bryant students will meet at the high school band room at 6:30 a.m., then depart for the middle school to arrive before the directors’ meeting at 7:30 a.m. Music will be posted at 8 a.m. and auditions begin at 8:30 a.m.

Prior to auditioning, students may socialize and eat in the cafeteria or remain in the gym to warm up and practice. Classrooms will be divided up across the school for individual instrument auditions, consisting of a room for scales and sight reading and another for prepared music. Students will receive a number to determine when they will audition. 

Audition results should be posted soon after tryouts are completed, placing the best students of the region in the first or second bands. Students in the highest chairs of the top band then qualify for All-State, where auditions are planned to be held in Arkadelphia Feb. 8.

Junior Mattie Calhoun, 2019 All-Region third chair and All-State alternate clarinet, has put in hours of work for the upcoming weekend. 

“I’ve been going over the music and finding the hardest parts for me,” Calhoun said. “Then, I slowly practice those parts until I’m comfortable with them to the point where I can put it together with the rest of the piece. A lot of it is technical exercises, so it mostly just knowing the fingerings.”

Calhoun plans to continue preparing for All-State as well  in hopes that she is able to audition after All-Region. 

“I hope I qualify for All-State, although I don’t know for sure how confident I am,” Calhoun said. “I’m just wishing for the best. If I do, I’ll probably still continue the same method of practicing since that’s what usually works for me.”