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The NS Band Heads To the All-Iowa Concert Band Festival

Tuesday, February 22: After weeks of rehearsals, sending in money for lunch, and arriving at school in all black dress clothes, it’s time for the North Scott Band to leave for the All-Iowa Concert Band Festival. The band members filled four buses with themselves and their instruments. At the festival, band members got to listen to other high school bands perform, got to perform themselves, and received feedback from a group of esteemed clinicians.

The days started with both bands filing into Dewitt Central then listening to some of the other bands perform. Bands ranged in size from smaller than 30 members to filling the entire stage with musicians. It was interesting to see the different compositions of the bands—one even had a double bass.

The All-Iowa Concert Band Festival provides a rare opportunity for the concert band to hear the symphonic band perform and for the symphonic band to hear the concert band perform. As a symphonic band member, I really enjoyed hearing the concert band perform "Invocation and African Dance" by Matt Conaway, and "Byzantine Dances" by Carol Brittin Chambers. "Byzantine Dances" was so much fun to listen to. The concert band played the song with energy and passion, and they absolutely crushed the body percussion and the “Hey!” at the end of the song.

To the members of the concert band, your performance was wonderful and you left chills down my spine—good job!

After the bands perform for the audience and clinicians, they get one on one time with a clinician. The symphonic band got some wonderful insight and instruction from Jack Stamp. He instructed the trumpets on alternate fingerings they could use, told the band to breathe with Mr.Collins to all come in together, and to focus on supporting the bottom note at the start of an ascending passage. I’m sure Mr.Collins was delighted to hear Stamp tell us those last two, as he has been repeatedly instructing the symphonic band to do them since the start of concert band season.

One special treat for the band, we got to hear another band perform a song we’ve played before. Last year, in the combined band dubbed the symphoncert band, we played a super fun piece called "Epic Gaming Themes" arranged by Paul Murtha. This year, the Davenport West Symphonic Band played the piece. All the North Scott bands were done performing, so everyone got to hear the piece performed—you should have seen everyone's faces light up.

The North Scott band piled back into their buses after their performances and audience time, but they weren’t headed back to school—they were going to Happy Joes! The band filled every table in the Dewitt Happy Joe’s and the initial line for pizza stretched out the door—I got stuck in the back, and it took a little while for the massive band to get through the buffet. Speaking of which, the buffet: North Scott students were treated to sausage, pepperoni, taco, Canadian bacon, and bacon-sausage-pepperoni pizza along with cheese sticks, dessert sticks, ice cream, and more all at the cost of $14. Supposedly, one student ate 28 slices of pizza.

After a feast fit for royalty, the band filled back into their buses—this time really heading back to school. Band members arrived at school around 2:00 for their fifth block classes, the All-Iowa Concert Band Festival complete.

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