Aidan Bush, Staff Writer – Saturday, February 9, select Lecanto High School [LHS] band members were given the opportunity to participate in the College of Central Florida [CF]’s fourth annual Honor Band Festival. It hosted four different ensembles and pulled students from 15 high schools in four surrounding counties.
To be involved with the Honor Band, one has to be recommended by their school’s band director as well as go through an audition at CF to earn chair placement as well as being selected for various ensembles. Furthermore, rehearsal for the event only spanned over three days.
There were four ensembles in this event, percussion, jazz, and two concert bands. Each ensemble prepared for the event in different ways. Jazz band director, Professor Greg Snider went through an extensive process during these three days to best prepare his students for their performance.
“Time was spent on filling out the sound and achieving a strong pyramid balance. We discussed solo construction and telling a story through improvisation. We talked about time/feel or groove quite a bit,” said Snider.
LHS band member, senior Nathan Hoover, participated in CF’s Jazz Band, playing in the saxophone section. He enjoyed the experience as it uniquely challenged him.
“It [playing] really pushed the limits of my musical abilities; there were lots of difficult parts, but it went well and I had a lot of fun,” Hoover said.
Despite the music’s higher level leading it to be more challenging, the performance went well for all sections involved.
“This was easily one of the best Honor Band performances we’ve ever had. The performance went very well this year and I am excited about the growth of this event for the future,” said John Ash, CF director of bands.
Lecanto High School band members were happy to hear of Hoover and the CF Honor band’s success as it reflected the rest of the LHS band’s skill and craftsmanship.
“It means a lot that I play alongside people that can play well enough to do so at [events such as CF’s Honor Band] and that they can have great opportunities through this program,” said sophomore and band member Michael Cornelius.
On top of this being an opportunity to make music with high school students from many different counties, this event is also a recruiting opportunity.