Two weeks ago, Page High School sent 12 students to Prescott to perform in Regional for Northern Arizona hosted by the Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA). The selected students ranged in talent. Eleven of the twelve students that competed made the cut. Seven choralists, one clarinet player, one trumpet player and two French horn players moved on to the next tier in competition and the next step in furthering their individual successes in their musical performances.
There are three genres of competitors: choir, orchestra and band. Competitors are involved in two full days of learning music and then performing during which they try to receive a superior rating and be eligible to perform for the honors ensemble. Students from all over Northern Arizona join the Regional competition to test the knowledge acquired and skill of their hard work for the past couple months in their particular field.
From October to January, the students prepare, practice and perform not only for entertainment but to further their education and abilities.
“This is how we get them to step out and express themselves individually with regard to their specific talents,” said Dave Johnson, Band Director at the Page High School. “Music plays such an important role in their lives. We only want to increase their abilities and the learning for these students.”
Johnson, who moved most recently from Portland Oregon specifically to fulfill this role at the Page High School, is thrilled with his first year as Band Director and shares that passion with his students. Johnson mentioned in detail the talents of every student that competed and excelled in their performance.
Melanie Robinson, a senior at the Page High School who is heavily involved in the band department, proves the successes in the band department by setting an example in her own performances. Robinson has auditioned every year since 2016 with a performance on her French horn.
This year Robinson felt driven to stretch her abilities and audition with a solo as well.
Out of 90 other alto singers that auditioned, Robinson came out on top. After receiving a superior rating in regionals, Robinson was asked to record a live solo performance, based on her previous solo performance at regionals and send it in to be judged yet again.
Robinson was selected one of the three top horn players in the region. On March 10 she will attend the state audition with other top competitors.
“Since seventh grade I have auditioned every year,” she said. “It has changed my life. Performing with real, talented musicians is the true experience of what music should feel like,” Robinson said, “Seth Woodard, a former student at Page High School, competed in the State Auditions back in 2001; in 2016 I was the next to compete. I think those 15 years speak a lot.” Robinson’s success speaks for itself as well as the entire band department at the Page High School. These competitions are challenging, trying and time consuming no matter the instrument one specializes.
Competitions with many other students across the state bring light to the smaller cities; especially in Robinson’s success.
“Our goal for the future of the High School band is to grow the program,” Johnson said. “We’re a team and we want to give the kids the best,” Johnson said, “We want to see Page become a spotlight.”
This Wednesday the entire high school band will be traveling to Flagstaff, to compete in an area concert festival. If they receive a rating of "excellent" or better they will be moving on as a whole to compete in the state-wide concert.
If you would like to experience the individual and group talent, as well as the hard work and dedication, the Page High School band has developed you may join them in the CAB Tonight, Wednesday March 7 at 7PM for their Spring Concert.