Following a successful marching season this fall, members of Aurora High School and Junior High bands have continued to earn recognition into the new year. Recently, several junior high band members earned chairs in the district honor band, and a number of high school musicians performed in honor ensembles.
Junior high band
On January 6, seven band students from Aurora Junior High earned a chair for the Southwest Missouri Music Educators All-District seventh and eighth grade Honor Bands, including one first chair seat. More than 500 students from 28 schools participated in auditions for only 172 chairs. Guest conductors and Missouri music educators Paul Fliege and Michael Harrer will clinic the students on musicianship and ensemble skills throughout the rehearsals.
Aurora seventh grade students selected were Janie Hill -- second chair bass clarinet, MiKailey Butts -- second chair baritone saxophone, Levi Tate -- seventh chair horn and Xane Shirley -- first chair trombone.
Eighth grade students selected were Tessa Lisk -- 10th chair clarinet, Brian Smith -- third chair bass clarinet and Hope Murphy -- fourth chair horn.
These students will participate in a day-long rehearsal with other young musicians from across the region, culminating in a free public concert performance beginning at 5 p.m. on January 14 at Webb City High School.
The SWMMEA All-District Jazz Band will open the concert under the direction of Dr. Dan Gailey, KU Director of Jazz Studies. Aurora High School senior Tahleatha Robinson will play lead trombone in the ensemble.
High school band
On January 7, at Joplin High School, select Aurora High School band members performed for the public as part of two Southwest Missouri Music Educators Association honor ensembles.
Kendall Meyer, Lydia Siver, Sarah Cornell, Melissa Tate, James Francisco, Mason Ray, Devyn Thurman and Zane Price joined approximately 90 area students who earned seats in the SWMMEA All-District Honor Band, under the direction of Truman State University band director, Dr. Curran Prendergast.
Lauren Sapiens, Jeffrey Bodeen, Rachel Smith, Josh Howard, Nathaniel Ford and Brandon Rodriguez joined nearly 100 regional students, who were either alternates for the All-District band or were nominated by their band directors, in the Directors’ Choice All-Conference Band. Dr. Russell Logan, former Auburn, Alabama, High School band director, conducted the ensemble.