Six from Caldwell perform in honors band
Five Caldwell County high school students and one middle school student attended the North Carolina All-State Honors Band performance on May 2-4 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
From Hibriten High School, sophomore Joseph Reid played trumpet, and sophomore Zach McRary played trombone.
Band teacher Justin Hammond said, “These two in particular are the best of the best. They’re very knowledgeable of anything we’re studying. These two understand it takes hours and hours of practice. They’re always working on the next step . . . which is really cool.”
Reid has played the trumpet since the sixth grade. He performed at the All-State Honors Band once before. He said he loves the trumpet because of its sound.
“It’s loud and fun to play, lots of energy behind it,” Reid said.
McRary experienced his first auditioning process and performance at All-State this year. After high school, he said he wants to pursue a career in music. McRary, too, enjoys the trombone for its sound but for different reasons.
“It has a dark, mellow sound to it,” McRary said. “It’s not a high, loud sound.”
The boys said that performing at All-State is actually easier and less nerve-wracking than performing at a regular concert for the school because they were part of a team that made up of the very best in the state.
“If you mess up, there’s always somebody who has got it right,” Reid said. “You can help each other.”
Lisa Koplin, Reagan Murphy and Carolina Church represented South Caldwell High School at the concert. All three of the girls have auditioned for All-State multiple years. Koplin, who plays clarinet, said she has auditioned all four years of her band career.
“It’s something I love doing,” Koplin said. “I love to audition.”
Koplin even has a lucky charm that she wears during an audition.
“I usually audition with a bow tie on,” Koplin said. “That’s like my lucky thing.”
Clarinet player Murphy said that band has been a positive experience for her and keeps her in school.
“Being in band makes my day,” Murphy said. “I look forward to it every day.”
Koplin added, “I think band is not just a class but a family. Music is more like an escape than an everyday task.”
Flutist Church said, “I just love music. That’s why I like it.”
Annie Beam, an eighth-grade student at Collettsville School, took her gigantic string bass with her to Chapel Hill to perform.
“It’s like a cello, except it’s bigger,” Beam said.
While Beam enjoys playing violin, a hobby since she was 8 years old, violins are not featured in marching band, so Beam picked up the string bass.
Unlike some of the older students, Beam still gets nervous when auditioning, but she felt a sense of exhilaration during the actual performance.
“It was nerve-wracking,” Beam said about auditioning. “There were a lot of different instruments there. Sight reading is the hardest because you don’t know what you’re going to see.”