|Gering musicians to play in All-State Band|
|October 28, 2015 Jerry Purvis|
Members of the Gering High School band selected to play in this year’s Nebraska All-State Band are, from left, bass clarinetist Jaycee Rice, tuba player Collin Potts and flutist Hadley Kirk. Photo by Jerry Purvis/ Gering Citizen
Three Gering High School students will be joining the Nebraska All-State Band this November for performances at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
For seniors Collin Potts and Hadley Kirk, it’s the second time they have been selected. Junior Jaycee Rice joins them in her first time for the honor.
With high school band director Randy Raines out for the day, his wife, Deb, talked about the All-State Band. Their son, Aaron, had participated as a percussionists when he was in school.
“All the kids tried out on a series of etudes that are very difficult,” she said. “Each one is different, depending on the instrument. They also had to perform scales from memory and an excerpt from some of the literature they’ll perform.”
The students’ auditions are recorded and sent to the university’s music department, where selections are made. Being selected to All-State is the highest honor a high school musician can receive. Preparing for the audition involves months of practice and lessons.
Band members will perform works that haven’t been sent out yet, but the performance is scheduled for Nov. 19 in Lincoln.
Flutist Hadley Kirk said she had gone through the process before, so she knew what to expect. “I started practicing every day for this audition last June,” she said. “It’s a big-time commitment and a lot of work. So few people are selected it’s a huge honor.”
Kirk added, in her second year with the All-State Band, she expected to have a lot of fun and knows what to expect from the experience.
Collin Potts, the band’s tuba player, admitted his first year was a little intimidating. “It was kind of scary walking into a room with hundreds of people,” he said. “But it was fun to be a part of something bigger. We’ve never been a part of a band that big, loud and awesome.”
All the musicians are the best Nebraska high schools have to offer. “The level of musicianship is high for everyone, so the musicians are no longer the big fish in a little sea,” Raines said.
Bass clarinetist Jaycee Rice, a junior, will be participating in the All-State Band for the first time. “It’s exciting see all my wishes and hard work paying off,” she said.
“I’ve been taking lessons at the college to prepare. I want to major in music, so this is a big step forward.”
The trio will take part in several rehearsals in Lincoln prior to the final concert. In addition to the All-State Band, there will be performances by the All-State Jazz Band, Chorus and Orchestra.