On November 17th and 18th, the Bellows Falls Union High School sent a plethora of musicians to perform in the District VI Winter Music Festival. A month prior, on October 2nd, many BFUHS band and choral students travelled to Dummerston to audition for a spot in the District Festival. After receiving the news that they were accepted, many musicians were thrilled. For some, this was their first high school audition, and for others, it was their fifth or sixth. Folders came in the mail soon after, and each musician received a letter of congratulations, a schedule outlining the Festival, their score sheet and some constructive criticism from their adjudicator, and the big ticket item: the music they would perform a month or so later. Those who were accepted travelled to Hartford on the 17th and 18th for a two-day adventure in music making.
A month later, after multiple after-school-two-hour-practices that the BFUHS musicians attended to prepare for the festival, at 8:30 A.M on Friday, November 17th, the BFUHS District VI Musicians boarded their bus and left for the Hartford High School. Upon arriving, everyone had different emotions. Some were nervous, excited, tired, and some, unfortunately were car sick. But representing Bellows Falls, these musicians held their heads high and set an example for other musicians to follow. The chorus broke off to their Festival Room, and the band traveled to the gym. Here, name tags were passed out, and lending a helping hand, every BFUHS musician helped set up the gymnasium for that day’s rehearsal. Taping names on stands, and moving around the percussion section, once again, these musicians represented the caring community that BFUHS is all about. For the next two days, and a total of 15 or so hours, the District VI Musicians prepared for their Saturday afternoon concert.
What does it take to be a District VI Musician? It takes hard work, dedication, patience, and if you play a wind instrument, a whole lotta chapstick. It takes team work, endurance, and sometimes, you have to just laugh. I can’t tell you how many times I heard the District VI Concert Band Director say, “Come on you guys! Let go and dance!” It takes guts, and enthusiasm, and even when you’re standing face to face with your arch enemy, it takes kindness. There’s a couple jokes going around the BFUHS musicians this year, revolving around a train, an arch enemy, and some lobster cuff links. To be a District Musician, you just gotta have fun and accept when you make a mistake.
Representing Bellows Falls Union High School, and making their directors proud are [from the band] Kaitlynn Jones (flute), Bradie Harris (clarinet), Molly Hodsden (clarinet), Kara Lescord (clarinet), Emily Wunderle (alto saxophone), Alyssa Leonard (alto saxophone), Ethan Lauricella (tenor saxophone), Lorelei Jones (bari saxophone), Courtney Fredrickson (trumpet), Emma Graham (trumpet), Taryn Darrel (trumpet), Ian Wallace (trombone), Elliot Graham (trombone), Skylar Swan (percussion), Clay Thompson (percussion), and [from the chorus] Grace Thompson (soprano voice), Angel Bixler (soprano voice).