By Rick Palsgrove
Several Groveport Madison High School band members showcased their musical talents by being selected to perform this winter as part of honor bands at local universities.
Katie Cordle, a senior, has participated in eight different honor bands over the past four years.
“The atmosphere is much different at an honor band than it is within your band at home,” said Cordle. “Everyone is dedicated, everyone is there for the same reason, and everyone has fun. The level of music performed on stage on the last day of the event is much harder than what is played at home, but rather than complaining about the difficulty, everyone embraces it and learns from their mistakes in order to improve their abilities. The experience that I received at the OU Honor Band is priceless.”
Cordle had the opportunity to play a small solo in one of the performed pieces.
“Even though I got my 20 seconds of fame and it may not have seemed like much to others, it meant so much to me to be given that chance in front of hundreds of people on that large of a stage,” said Cordle.
Senior Tyler Miracle said performing in the honors bands was a great experience because it allowed him to create bonds with many people.
“From the kids I met to the directors to the honor band themselves,” said Miracle. “I learned so much from these people and have many memories to cherish for the rest of my life.”
Added freshman Samara Johnson, “My honor band experience was great. I got to go to Muskingum University and meet some new friends. I liked the choice of music we played and I finally got to play the song for ‘Star Wars.’ I had a really good time and I really hope I can do it again.”
“Together we all took my musicality in many ways,” said bassoonist Ashlyn Willis. “It was a short weekend that created music, emotion, and friendship. This experience expanded my horizons and changed my perspective of music.”
Groveport Madison Director of Bands Bart Pickenpaugh said band directors across the state and surrounding states submit students’ names who were interested in participating in the honor band.
“The university picks the student based on the information given by the directors,” said Pickenpaugh.
Pickenpaugh said students audition for which honor band of the three honor bands available where they will be placed.
Groveport Madison students selected to the honor bands were:
•Muskingum University Honor Band: Katelyn Shelton (flute), Jessica Himes (flute), Andre Norrils (euphonium), Keirstyn McGuire (percussion), Sarah Wagner (oboe), Jasmine Grant-Lowe (clarinet), Cherub Clarke (flute), Samara Johnson (trumpet), Seydou Kane (clarinet), Isaac McGruder (French horn), and Sandro Nuakey (euphonium).
•Capital University Honor Band: Tyler Miracle (percussion).
•Ohio University Honor Band: Katie Cordle (trumpet).
•Ohio State University Honor Band: Andre Norrils (euphonium), Ashlyn Willis bassoon), Lauren Barnes (clarinet), and Tyler Miracle (percussion).
Cordle said that, though time was tight with rehearsals and performances, the student musicians still had time to see the college campuses where they performed.
“We were treated as true young adults and were completely trusted, which is often hard to find when you’re in a typical high school setting,” said Cordle.
Cordle said one of the most memorable parts of her honor band experience was the group of friends she met while there.
“They are such an awesome group of diverse and outgoing people and they made my final honor band one of the greatest experiences of my life,” said Cordle. “The funny thing about this group of friends is that they are all flute players and I am the only trumpet player, which is an unlikely combination to some people. We all still stay connected to each other even though we live hours apart from each other. One of these friends is going to be my roommate when we attend college in the fall of 2018.”
Her experience on the Ohio University campus also had a positive impact on Cordle’s choice of college.
“I decided to attend Ohio University in the fall with a declared major of instrumental music education,” said Cordle. “Attending the OU Honor Band has opened more doors than anyone will know and I will encourage anyone interested to audition for not only the OU Honor Band, but any honor band of interest.”