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Keeping the SWIBA Streak Alive

Katie York

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The Southwest Iowa Band Master’s Association (SWIBA) holds an honor band every year. There are four different bands for the grades of seventh through twelfth. There is a seventh-grade band, an eighth-grade band, a ninth/tenth-grade band, and an eleventh/twelfth-grade band. Each year auditions are held for the seventh and eighth graders at Clarinda Middle School, for students in ninth through twelfth grades, the auditions are held here at Atlantic High School. Once every student has auditioned, an acceptance list is posted on the

Each year auditions are held for the seventh and eighth graders at Clarinda Middle School, for students in ninth through twelfth grades, the auditions are held here at Atlantic High School. Once every student has auditioned, an acceptance list is posted on the SWIBA website and on this SWIBA website.

“We had 460 registered and I think 375 showed up,” band director Jarred O’Donnell said. “I enjoy it. It is a great experience for kids to meet other kids from other schools. Since I am the head of it I see names of kids from their freshman year to their senior year is fun to see them grow and build a relationship with them,” O’Donnell said.

Since SWIBA honor band is offered for kids from seventh through twelfth grades there is something called a SWIBA streak. “We keep track of students that make SWIBA their seventh grade year through their twelfth grade year. It’s a huge accomplishments for someone to be dedicated to SWIBA Honor Band for six years so we keep track of that. You get special recognition at the concert and usually a certificate,” O’Donnell said. There are two seniors, Nadia Somers and Hannah Richter, that have their six year senior streak. Another AHS student who has a SWIBA streak is sophomore Katie York who is on her fourth year.

Senior Hannah Richter said, “I am really happy that I did (go out for SWIBA) because it was one of the reasons that I continued with music just to know that I had the capability to actually do it.” When Richter was comparing All-State to SWIBA she said SWIBA is a little easier to prepare for because she already knew her scales because she auditioned for All-State. She also said it was a little easier because the SWIBA etudes are easier than the All-State ones, but she said it was hard because she only has a month to prepare for SWIBA. The reason Richter only has a month to prepare is because of All-State audition being at the end of October and SWIBA auditions being in the beginning of December. “My anticipation level has kind of gone down since 7th grade year,” Richter said. Richter’s favorite memory from SWIBA is carpooling with Guthrie Center because she always got to see her best friend.

“It was exciting, It was cool to see how much I have improved from seventh grade to now,” said Senior Nadia Somers when she heard she made SWIBA for the sixth time.  “No really, I mean there were eight that auditioned and there were allowed to take eight french horn players,” Somers said when she was talking about her anticipation level while waiting for the list to come out. Nadia said “SWIBA is always fun” about her least favorite memory from SWIBA. Nadia says that All-State helps her with her SWIBA audition because “the preparation for All-State makes you a better sight reader, it drills the scales into your head.”

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Keeping the SWIBA Streak Alive