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North band members earn all-state invitations

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Eighteen band members from Columbus North High School have earned invitations to the Indiana All-State High School Band Festival.

That’s the most North students ever to qualify, and more than any other school in the state, band director Bill Stultz said.

“This proves that our kids are excited about what they’re doing and that they’re willing to work really hard to get there,” Stultz said. “It’s going to be an incredible experience for them.”

The festival, now in its 53rd year, is March 10 in the Elliott Hall of Musica at Purdue University, according to the Indiana Bandmasters Association, which puts on the event.

In January, more than 750 students from across the state auditioned separately at nine regional centers. Only 165 earned invitations, thanks to their performances on musical selections that the association distributed in November.

Eighty-three of those were named to the honors band. The other 82 were named to the All-State Band. Locally, 10 will participate in the Honors Band, five will participate in the All-State Band, and three will stand by as alternates in case one of the qualifying performers cannot participate.

The bands will perform separately, with the All-State Band first to take the stage at 2:30 p.m. The event is free to the public.

Since no time was set aside during band class for practice, students made the commitment to practice at home.

  • Yoko Yato, a freshman French horn player who made the All-State Band, took private lessons.
  • So did Clayton Auton, a sophomore clarinet player who made the Honors Band.
  • Akitoshi Kato, a senior trumpet player who qualified each of his previous three years of high school, said his family went so far as to hire an Indiana University professor to give him home lessons.

Stultz said he and his band members would be at Purdue by 5 p.m. March 8 and rehearse with the other qualifiers all day Saturday and part of the day Sunday before the performances.

Musical selections for the All-State Band will include “Shenandoah” by Frank Ticheli and “Variations on a Korean Folk Song” by John Barnes Chance.

Musical selections for the Honors Band will include “Nitro” by Ticheli and “Nobles of the Mystic Shrine” by John Philip Sousa.

The Columbus East High School Band did not audition for the state festival, band director David Rodgers said. The East band was involved in other activities.

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