Band students from Pratt experience K-State Band Clinic

Kahrie Stegman
Pratt High band students spoke with the members of the Boston Brass at the K-State Concert Band Clinic. Pratt students involved included (from left) Hannah Holmes, Andrew Van Slyke, Bella Barker, Erin Jackson, Walker Green, and Dawson Malone.

Pratt High Band students had a unique musical experience on K-State’s Campus as the 27th annual Kansas State Concert Band Clinic from Friday, Jan. 24 to Sunday, Jan. 26. More than 720 band students from all across the state stayed in Manhattan to be a part of one of the seven bands, including one elite band directed by the K-State Director of Bands, Dr. Frank Tracz. From Pratt High School, Walker Green, Hannah Holmes, Bella Barker, Erin Jackson, Andrew Van Slyke, Kahrie Stegman, Grant Younie, Annika Larrison, Dawson Malone, Maggie Haas, and Jenna Haas attended the clinic. Jackson, Stegman, and Green auditioned into Dr. Tracz’s band, with Green earning first chair in the tuba section. 

On Friday afternoon, all of the students auditioned to be placed in band. Each band had over 100 members, and they learned three to four pieces over the weekend. The Tracz band learned five pieces. On Sunday afternoon, each band performed their pieces for family and friends in McCain Auditorium on K-State’s campus. 

On Saturday, the students enjoyed performances by the Boston Brass and the K-State Wind Ensemble. 

At the end of each band’s performance, a few students from each band were awarded with the Most Outstanding Musician Award. From Pratt, earning the honor were Bella Barker, Maggie Haas, and Walker Green in their respective bands. 

Barker and Green both decided to attend because other band members who had gone in the past told them it was their favorite band event of the year. 

Both found the weekend beneficial for their future in music. 

I learned that I can sight read better than I thought,” said Barker. 

Green enjoyed speaking with members of the Boston Brass. 

Meeting with members of the Boston Brass answered a lot of my questions about careers in music,” Green explained. “I learned that it’s possible to balance life while having a career in music performance.”

Barker and Green also liked the social aspect of the event. 

I made a whole bunch of new friends from different bands,” Barker said. 

I always enjoy meeting people who have passion have passion for what they do and a lot of the people at CBC had passion for music,” said Green. 

They both plan on attending the clinic next year. 

It is definitely a learning experience that I think anyone with a passion for music should do,” Barker said. “It gives you an opportunity to play with people otherwise you would never play with”

The Pratt Music Department will be busy during the spring semester. On Feb. 27-29, those selected for the All-State KMEA Honor Band and Choirs will rehearse and perform at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita. Walker Green made third chair tuba for the All-State Band; Bella Barker will perform in the All-State Mixed Choir; and Alyssa Green, Kahrie Stegman, and Sterling Rector will perform in the All-State Women’s Choir. 

The Pratt High Chamber Singers, directed by Brandon Wade, will attend a workshop with the Wichita State Madrigals and will perform with the Madrigals on Feb. 24 in the Miller Concert Hall on Wichita State’s campus. 

The Chamber Singers were also selected to perform at the KMEA In-Service Workshop (ISW). This is a prestigious honor, and is the first time a Pratt choir has been selected. They will perform a 30 minute concert among the greatest music groups in the state of all ages on Feb. 28. They will perform at 11:30 a.m. in Hyatt Ballroom D-F. 

Both the Wichita State and ISW performances are open to the public. 

Later in the spring, the band, choirs, and soloists will perform and be judged at League, Regional, and possibly State music festivals