A couple weeks ago, on January 27th, nine UDHS students participated in the 2016 District Band Festival, for District 11, at Spring-Ford High School. These nine students included freshman Alex Wallack, sophomores Natalie David and Tina Pfeffer, juniors Elizabeth Barber, Nina Cheng, Daniel Klugman, Kyle Lee, and Alexis Schneider, and senior Colin McNutt. The musicians were chosen by judges who considered both the students’ skills and the popularity of their instrument. At UDHS it is a requirement for honors level band students to audition for districts, but there are only so many available spots at the event. This year, 128 students from Bucks and Montgomery County participated in the three day long festival.
Although being chosen for District Band is an honor for any young musician, participating in the event has been known to be quite demanding. Beginning on a Thursday, the nine selected band students traveled by bus to Spring-Ford High School with band director, Mr. Christopher Horn. Soon after their arrival, students gathered into their respective instrument groups to practice for a lengthy four hours. The practice was only interrupted by auditions for Regional Band, the next step before reaching the All State level.
The next day, January 28th, would be no less demanding. Participants got an early start, beginning practice at 9 AM and continuing to practice until 9 PM in preparation for the concert the following day. Kyle Lee, one of the nine participating UDHS band members, recalled his time at Districts stating, “It was a tiresome but great experience because it was the first time I had truly gotten to play with people who were so talented and committed to music.”
If you could imagine the District Band Festival as a rollercoaster, the concert on Saturday night was most definitely the very peak of the event. The hours of practice and hard work built up to an amazing performance by the District 11 band members, particularly by the nine talented students from Upper Dublin.
In addition to the successful band performance, two of the District 11 participants from UDHS, Daniel Klugman and Kyle Lee, were chosen to move on to Regional Band. Daniel Klugman could not be more ecstatic, stating, “I feel reassured that all of my hard work is paying off. I am also happy to see [my] improvement from last year.”
Regional Band will take place from March 10-12, and the schedule for the event will be similar to that of District Band.