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Behind the Showcase

Photo provided by: Sarah McLaughlin

Photo provided by: Sarah McLaughlin

Maddie Watts, Journalism 1 Reporter

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Imagine this: The curtain opens in the auditorium and the top band at Lake Brantley High School begins playing. The auditorium is filled with the sound of instruments blowing out the first notes of the song.

The concert has started and after the top band performs the first song, 42 other performances will follow. Band students worked for about two weeks before the curtain rose for Showcase. Bradley Wharton, Lake Brantley’s band director, worked with the students to ensure that the show would be fun and appealing not only to the audience, but to the students as well.

“I try to find music that’s appealing to the audience, music that’s challenging for the students so they enjoy it and kind of find a balance between those two,” Wharton said. “As far as the section music, that’s up to the section leader and they also try to choose things the audience might know and enjoy, whether it be pop tunes, or Broadway tunes, you know classical tunes, things like that, things everyone would know but also things that the students can handle and they can play, they choose that.”

Showcase practices were scattered after marching season was over and the Veteran’s Day program had finished. Freshman Abby Panzella enjoyed going to band practices and playing music with her French horn section.

“We had two freshmen band rehearsals and they were after school for one and a half hours,” Panzella said. “Then we had section rehearsals every week, once a week after school for an hour and then we had the Wednesday before the concert we had a full band rehearsal for about four hours, trying to find our place in the show.”

Sections have the freedom to choose whatever music they want their section to play in the Showcase. Section leaders can even write new pieces of music to be performed.

“I think each of them [the performances] have been great and it’s really neat because the students are the ones that primarily write the music for their section and they’re also the ones that lead the section in rehearsals so it’s pretty much student-driven,” Wharton said. “They are the ones who have the input on how it goes and they play it for Ms. King or myself and they get a kind of a pass off. It’s unique in that right because they are the ones who put it together.”

Performing at the Showcase can sound a little nerve-wracking, since students had a limited amount of time to prepare music for the concert. The students knew they had worked hard for the concert and the end of the concert was bittersweet for some, including Panzella.

“I felt sad, I’m not going to lie,” Panzella said. “I was really sad and I love performing with my section and the music was so good. I just really miss it.”

Photo provided by: Sarah McLaughlin

The band had its 22nd annual showcase on December 7 and 8. Each section of the band was able to choose a song to perform, here the trombone section performs 'Take On Me'.

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