District Music Shows Impressive Numbers

Leia Starr

EHS’ orchestra, choir, and band participated in this year’s district honor group, where students spent the day rehearsing pieces with musical directors and performed those pieces later that afternoon. In order to be able to participate, hopeful musicians had to attend district auditions, where their skills were put to the test in front of judges. Sarah Bays (choir director) was ecstatic about the impressive number of choir students that made it into the honor group.

“I hoped to get at least a dozen singers accepted into the choir and we ended up getting 17 singers accepted. This shows the dedication and skills of our vocal music students” she said.

The performing arts students have made impressive efforts towards this year’s district and have come back since the pandemic that paused their progress. Riley Day (orchestra director) works hard with his students to keep them motivated.

“I think it contributes to the students in the fact that this is something they can take pride in…its something that is very cognitively demanding and requires a lot of their mathematical brain, their pattern-seeking brain, their collective teamwork that they use in their leadership skills and working as a unit to make a product that is much bigger than the individual. I think all of those things are great qualities that the kids can walk away from and I feel extremely proud of the fact that I get to contribute to their lives in that manner” he commented.

Alongside these teachers’ dedication to their students, teachers like Glenn Woolard (band director) feels his students have made several personal efforts to increase their progress. Especially after the trying years of COVID-19, the performing arts have increased their skill and have pushed themselves, even more, to be successful for the district honor group this year.

“COVID was really, really tough on the band community around the world. Given that the majority of our instruments are essentially germ-blasters we lost two years of horn-to-face playing time. It’s been a really tough time rebuilding from that time away, but the band students are really stepping it up and making it happen this year!”

   An impressive total of 35 Emporia performing arts students made it into the district honor group with the guidance of teachers and personal growth. Emporia High’s music program has pushed above and beyond for this year’s district honor group and continues to push forward.