Band Ensemble Takes Center Stage


Jennifer Sanders

LR Ensemble Band

Abby Popple, ENN Contributor

This year has been an eventful one for band students, despite the marching season having been long over. On Saturday, Feb. 20, band students presented their ensembles to judges in the annual MISD ensemble contest.

Among a few of the entries were John Mackey’s Strange Humors, a scherzo for percussion and many other precocious compositions. The ensembles were rated on a I-IV scale, with a I being the highest, based on “musicality, good rhythms, and a well-executed performance,” said Lisandro Atencio, a 9th grade percussionist. As for those who got a II, Devin Davis said,”That means we played adequately good on an individual level, but not totally together.” These ratings have a personal meaning too. “It feels like you met expectations, but also just feels good”, said Christina Mauldin, a senior saxophonist and the marching band’s 2015 head drum major.

There’s still more activity to come, though, and with various solo and UIL contests to look forward to, many students are getting prepared for the busiest part of the concert season. Lisandro Atencio is most looking forward to drum line tryouts for the marching band, but also loves solos. “I like to shine and impress the judges,” Atencio said. As for the seniors who don’t have high school auditions, they have the senior band banquet to look toward to. And according to Christina Mauldin, the experience of playing in a small ensemble has better equipped them to play in a college band, which is smaller and more intense than even Lake Ridge’s award-winning, strict Eagle Band.

The effort put forward by students is extraordinary. Made even more impressive when considering that most students have extensive amounts of homework, extracurricular activities, mandatory after school rehearsals, and individual practice sessions. Many of Lake Ridge’s young musicians have accumulated hours, perhaps days worth of practice time into being successful. It’s worth it though, as not only have these ensembles turned them into leaders and taught them cooperation, but have also encouraged them to work hard for the sake of the others.

Indeed, the 2015-16 school year has been packed with band activities, but students and audiences alike have been enjoying it. There’s still more to look forward to with UIL and a new marching season fast approaching, but as busy as this makes the young musicians, it’s sure to be fun.