Maize musicians qualify for district band/orchestra


Sam Bartlett

Members of the band perform at the State Fair.

Brooklyn Blasdel, Sports Editor

Members of the band perform at the State Fair.

Last week, several Maize students qualified for the South Central Kansas Music Educators Association district honor band. Qualifiers included freshman Sam Ritchie, sophomore Austin Rey, junior Melody Prater and seniors Blake Davis, Noah Fanning, Audrey Farrell, Emma Lippert, Bethany Tschosik, Alexia Whitley and Brandon Woodruff, 

Prater has been playing oboe for 6 years and was selected as the first chair oboe for the band.

“District music festivals are put on by Kansas Music Educators Association and are the first step to participating in state orchestra, band or choir,” Prater said.

Students who want to compete at a higher level in fine arts have to audition before being accepted into this organization.

“To qualify for a district position you must prepare an excerpt from the prescribed piece of music and do a blind audition and sight reading test,” Prater said.

Whitley is first chair flute and has been playing for about nine years. Although the audition is hard, she said it is rewarding to be a part of such a high level orchestra.

“It’s very up there,” Whitley said. “There’s a lot of kids from the whole district auditioning for this.”

Prater said this is a big honor for high schoolers across the state, so being accepted is an exciting moment for many young musicians.

“I was very excited when I found out,” Prater said. “It’s always so rewarding when your hard work is acknowledged.”

The students will play with the band or orchestra on Dec. 7 at Wichita High School East.