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Guest column: Students assemble for all-county band clinic

By Michael Thomas

Middle school and high school band students from across Rowan County converged at Carson High School on Friday, Feb. 24 for an all-county band clinic.

Students were chosen by an audition process from all middle and high schools, where they had to prove technical skill and musicality on their individual instrument. They students also came together for a day and half of rehearsals.

After just hours of rehearsing for the first time together, they assembled in the Carson auditorium to present the results of their work. The purpose of the clinic is to provide an honors-level performance ensemble for students of Rowan County, combining players from all schools. It also provides the highest level of teaching and performing in a condensed setting.

Clinicians Sandy Boone and Bob Buckner demanded the highest of standards from these musicians, and they truly stepped up to challenge.

Students had to learn new music in an extremely short amount of time. Then, the students immediately give a concert with almost no break between the last rehearsal and the start of the concert.

To put this timeline into perspective, most music concerts are rehearsed and prepared over an eight- or nine-week period. Students at the All-County Clinic accomplished this feat in less than two days.

This feat would not be possible without the help from several key individuals: West Rowan middle and high school Band Boosters, East Rowan High School Band Boosters and administration and Carson High School Band Boosters and administration.

Speakers at the 1967 at the Tanglewood Symposium, which helped to define the role of music education in public schools, made a declaration: “Music serves best when its integrity as an art is maintained.”

No gimmicks.

No special computer, laser, 3-D printer or phone app.

Just pure, enjoyable music, which students put their hearts into when they perform is able transcend all barriers that we face in society.

This is evident when you see a child at the end of their music concert: a face of complete joy and elation. A sense of accomplishment that they know very few of their peers would dare try to accomplish.

This is reason why we put so much work into such a short amount of time.

This is why we love music.

Michael Thomas is the band and chorus director at Salisbury High School.

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