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The (Band) Purge: Band program should consider adding another band to accomodate for unfair placement

Amy Zhou, Entertainment Editor

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Having been in the Carmel High School band program for all four years, I’ve seen a lot of changes take place. Before high school, you can choose to audition to be placed into a higher group right out of the gate. However, one trend I’ve noticed is that the band program is becoming significantly larger.

For those who may not know, the band program is separated into four wind ensembles and two freshmen bands, and generally, people audition and are placed into the wind ensembles after freshman year. However, once you are placed into an ensemble, you either stay in the same group or audition again the following year for a chance to test into a higher ensemble, which means that once a certain number of people fill up the spots in the higher bands, it’s pretty difficult to squeeze more in.

This may sound pretty standard; however, as more people join the band program, the more difficult it becomes to place into the higher groups such as Wind Symphony I or Wind  Symphony II.

I think about this now, after competing at the ISSMA competition, where one judge noted it would take a little more work for us to play softer due to our size. There’s nothing wrong with having to refine our sound, but it is true that it can be a little difficult to play quietly when there are nine flutes all playing the same high note.

A solution to this would be for the band program to seriously consider expanding and creating another ensemble or freshman band. The addition of a third freshman band or fifth wind ensemble would ensure the groups are more evenly distributed, and the ensembles aren’t ridiculously large.

As the program becomes more competitive, wouldn’t it make more sense for everyone to have an equal chance at auditioning into any of the ensembles, regardless of group size? Players shouldn’t be sorted into ensembles based on space availability, but rather, their true potential and skill level.

I hope fellow performing arts members understand where I’m coming from. While the current audition system does guarantee a sort of security for those who place into their desired groups, it can leave others out and therefore gives them a tougher time to work their way up the ladder.

Creating new bands would open up more opportunities for students whose goals are to place into higher bands, regardless of seat availability determined by the grade levels of each student already in it.

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