Traveling to ISU

Some of the AHS band members traveled to Ames, Iowa to participate in an honor band that they were nominated for.


B. Wagner

ISU Honor Band participants (from top) Faith Nath, Rio Johnson, Angelica Andersen, Brady Wagner.

Elizabeth Anderson, Editor

Set the scene: Traveling across the state, playing a bunch of interesting music, and having fun. Faith Nath, Rio Johnson, Brady Wagner, and Angelica Andersen went to Iowa State University for the honor band. Band director, Jared O’Donnell nominated the students for the honor band.  Andersen said, “Regular honor band is a completely different story. For All-State, you usually have to perform a solo, two specific ETudes, and every single scale. The solo and ETude music practically breaks you in half it’s so difficult! It has often brought me enough stress that I’ve almost not wanted to practice at all. However, when the music comes, if you make it, it’s practically a vacation most of the time since my instrument is just background music.” 

During the trip, students practiced five songs, “Walsenburg Gallop, Lullaby to the Moon, Faith, New York 1925, and Pilatus; Mountain of Dragons.” Andersen’s favorite was Pilatus because it has a feature part in the song for the bass clarinets, which she enjoyed. O’Donnell said, ”It was fun, the kids played hard.” He directed four out of the five pieces.

“The honor band was a lot of fun. There’s usually more than one bass clarinet which I find very enjoyable. I love going to honor bands because it’s a fun chance to get to know new people and possibly rekindle with people from past honor bands… It’s still fun. The music was very fun and it gave me something to look forward to when the concert came,” said Andersen.  Johnson said, ‘’It was really fun and I’m glad I was able to attend. It was a very long day on Friday and Saturday, but we all worked together to learn our music for our concert.’’ 

They both met new people during honor band. ‘’The people in the percussion section were really nice,’’ Johnson said. Andersen said, ‘’I met a clarinet from Iowa City! The other Trojan mascot! At first, he playfully called me an imposter because he saw the Trojan head on my jacket, but then we laughed it off and talked about why our two schools are the only ones with human mascots while every other school has an animal. ’’