School bands from across the state will come together in harmony this weekend at the annual Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival in Champaign, Ill.
Tinley Park Community High School, Central Middle School, Carl Sandburg High School and Lockport Township High School are some of the local Southland schools that will be in attendance at the musical ensemble.
Vince Aiello, band director at Tinley Park High School, said this will be the ninth time the school’s marching band has competed at the event. He says his students are more than ready.
“We’ve been working on this for a while,” he said. “It’s extremely difficult to get into and I’m very proud of my students for this.”
Aiello said each school band had to send in an audition tape at the beginning of the year and the schools were chosen based on size categories.
He said Tinley Park is in Class AA, while Victor J. Andrew High School will be competing in Class AAA this year.
Schools from across the state will be at the music event this weekend, from Marion, Ill., in the south, to Grayslake, Ill. in the north.
The students take this competition of sound seriously. Delaney Smith, a senior in the Tinley Park High School band, is excited to return this year.
“I competed before as a freshmen and it’s a great competition,” she said. “The auditorium we get to perform in is amazing in itself.”
The event takes place at the legendary Foellinger Great Hall stage at the University of Illinois. Jason Freeland, Director of Bands at Central Middle School, said the students in his symphonic band will be performing on the stage, but not as competitors.
“We won the competition in the middle school category last year, so we were invited back this year to perform as the Honor Band,” he said. “It’s kind of like a ‘grand finale’ of the competition and we are honored to be come back for this.”
To prepare his students for their special performance, Freeland said they have been practicing and perfecting the routine for over three months.
“The students’ dedication and leadership has led them to this opportunity, and the support from the administration and school board is much appreciated,” he said.
For the senior students, their musical career will end on a high note at this weekend’s competition, but others will keep the music playing in college.
“I plan on continuing music past high school and into college,” Smith said, who will be attending the University of North Texas in the fall.
The Superstate event takes place this Friday, May 8 through Saturday, May 9. The 38 band competition can be streamed live at http://banddirector.com/.
[Via: The Daily Southtown]