The tradition of All County Bands

The ability to perform with a group of musicians at a high skill level is extremely beneficial and rewarding

The Mahaffey Theater is such a beautiful location to perform at, especially when surrounded by people that share your same passion for music.

Photo provided by MahaffeyTheater.com

The Mahaffey Theater is such a beautiful location to perform at, especially when surrounded by people that share your same passion for music.

Cristina Himelhoch, Staff Writer

This upcoming weekend begins the long lasting tradition of the All County Band rehearsals and concerts. This organization allows for the top performing students from band programs around Pinellas County to join together to form an outstanding high level band concert. The process to be accepted into the band begins at the beginning of the school year when band directors around the county hand out the audition music to their top students. Next, after rigorous amounts of practice, the audition process begins at the end of November. Students are expected to play the prepared piece, scales, and sight-reading in front of a panel of two judges. After about three days, students find out the results that are posted online. Finally, if a student is accepted into the band, they are given the music and sent to rehearsals for the concert.

I have been participating in this event for the past five years. It has been such an amazing experience because I have had the ability to grow as a musician through playing difficult music with people of my same skill level. Also, I have had the ability to learn an incredible amount through the clinicians that are brought in from colleges around the state. One of the difficult things about this process is the intense and long rehearsals. The rehearsals begin on a Thursday and go until the concert which this year is Monday, January 23. In total, we all rehearse for 15 hours in order to sound incredible for the concert. It all pays off in the end, though, because of the rush of excitement and sense of accomplishment that is felt during and after the concert. The concert is held at the Mahaffey Theater that is in downtown St. Pete. It is incredibly beautiful and breathtaking to be on stage looking into a full audience of about 500 people. Senior Jeremy Bertisch says, “It’s an amazing experience to perform with musicians that have the same passion and desire to make music, and to make new friends from around the county that want to be there just as much as you.” Although this is my last year of performing in the All County Band, I am extremely thankful for being a part of this event for such a long time.