District Music from Three Perspectives


A Choir Student Perspective: Mareesa Buskirk

District music is a busy day of performances including choir and band. Many students are offered solos, along with other students who are offered to perform in groups to compete for a rating of 1-3, one being the best and three being the lowest score.

Schools from all over the district come to compete, and the day begins at around 8 am, ending at nearly 3 pm. All duets for Alliance High School included Aubrey Garrett and Mareesa Buskirk, as well as Kallista Trevino and Britney Morgan. The final scoring rated Aubrey and Mareesa a one, and Kallista and Britney, a two.

Soloists from AHS included Bailey Alwin, Grace Tolstedt, Bailey Johnson, Tristen Bleisch, Darian Wilson, Cherokee Purviance, Mckenzie Rainwater, and Cassey Guthmiller. Grace, Tristen, Cherokee, Mckenzie, and Cassey all recieved a rating of one.

There were two quartets that performed early in the morning. The girls quartet included Shailee Thompson, Brielle Alwin, Mackenzie Brodrick, and Katelyn Nunes. Singing All the Pretty Little Horses. They recieved a rating of three. The boys quartet included Caleb Garcia, Stephan Reid, and Tyler Girard. This quartet also recieved a rating of three.

All of the choirs at Alliance High School performed. There were three judges for the choirs, unlike the groups and solos, which only have one.  Harmonics received the ratings of two, two, and one. Velocity recieved all twos from the judges. The mixed choir recieved a score of two, two, and one.  

District music competition was a very successful day, full of music, and senior Mackenzie Brodrick said “I’m proud of how our choirs did, it’s been a great few years here.” Many of the students in choir have said they are very excited for the next year, and hoping to improve next year recieve even more high ratings!

A Band Student Perspective: Thalia Gonzalez

District Music is a day full of, you guessed it, music. For the third year in a row, the contest was held at Alliance High School, a total of 14 schools participated in the contest. Both choir students and band students perform at district music, with a total of about 300 performances. From solos to large ensembles, you are bound to hear a musician that makes your heart skip a beat.

I am proud to say that I play the flute in the Alliance High School concert band and Wind Ensemble. We received all ones in both of our performances which is the best you can earn. In music, there are not places like first or second but we are given numbers from one to five. One is considered superior, two is excellent, three is good, four is fair, and a five is unprepared.

Being in the band during district music is very tiring, but also a lot of fun. Starting with waking up early in the morning and dressing nice, then getting to school and having to run back and forth between judges so you can grab their judges sheets and make sure they have everything they need.

The band students are the ones “in charge” of rooms and we try and keep things running as smoothly as possible. In doing this we have to make sure there is no one walking in and out of the room during performances. This year teachers also helped so we could do our running around for our judges without being worried of a disturbance in our rooms.

Jewelia Taylor, a sophomore, performed in all three of our bands: Concert, Wind, and Jazz. She also performed a solo receiving the highest score, a one. “I wasn’t that nervous for my solo because last year I did pretty well and I felt like I was prepared. Through the long day I worked several shifts and I was really just running around all day but in the end it was worth it.”

District Music is a full day filled with talented people who all share love for the same thing, music. This year our bands all did very well, as well as all of our soloists. This is the day we practice non-stop for. Hopefully the years to come are just as successful as this year.

A Third Party Perspective: Sharia Williamson 

Each year, performers gather for the district music contest after spending weeks, if not months, perfecting their sets. After weeks of rehearsing and selecting music, the competition they all waited for started on April 18. The District Music competition began at 8 am at the Alliance High School in several different rooms. Bright and early in the morning, bus loads of students were already piling into the PAC. Soon after, the competition began.

The morning air was cool and slightly windy, but all of those competing did not let the chilliness affect them. A majority of the competitors carried colorful blankets or pillows, while others wore sweats and large hoodies over their desired performance attire.

As I did a look over of the competition, a large number of students and teachers were already bustling to get everything set up. Walking up the ramp in the PAC proved to be disastrous when I walked by two students carrying a very large instrument, followed by many others transporting their own instruments.

It didn’t take long for me to notice those in choir rushing and changing out of their sweats and hoodies into their choir attire. A few girls sitting at a table in the corner were using their phones to check their makeup and hair, while some of the guys were already dressed and waiting for their turn to perform. They all looked formal and performance ready in their slacks, dresses, or choir robes. I was one of the few people walking around wearing ripped jeans, converse, and no makeup. Despite the fact that I was in my normal attire, I still felt slightly out of place.

While the lobby of the PAC was busy and loud, the auditorium was quiet and collected. At three tables spread around the PAC, sat the contestants’ worst fears: the judges. They checked all of their papers and discussed among themselves with stoic faces before parting ways. Soon enough, one judge commenced the competition with a single nod.

Choir after choir took to the stage to perform their musical selections that ranged from fast and cheerful to slow and emotional. Some groups danced their hearts out, while others focused on their sound.

I returned to the PAC to notice students separating and traveling to other parts of the school, but there was one student, who captured my attention. He fidgeted with his instrument case and unknowingly tapped his toe from either nervousness or impatience. His lips were moving, but no sound was coming out. From my perspective, he seemed to be going over music or giving himself a pep talk. The small sound of a shoe tapping on floor continued for another minute or two before a man dressed in a suit, who I would assume was his instructor. The man said a few words to the student before they gathered his instrument, and walked off. As other students returned from their solos or small groups, looks of relief overtook their faces, but many of them still had their biggest performance of the day left.

Towards the end of the competition, it was time for the full bands to perform. Each band rotated in and out of the band room to warm up before moving into the PAC.

Walking into the auditorium, the overhead lights shined down on the audience. The crowd was dispersed and three new judges sat waiting for the next band to start. Soon after I took my seat in the top section of seats, I realized two of the judges were Dave and Dick Rischling, who are both legendary and retired band directors of Alliance High School. As a previous band student who has had both of the Rischlings at one point in my life, I was nervous for the bands performing in front of them knowing the brothers are highly admired for their strictness and experience.

As time went on, bands came onto stage to face the esteemed judges. Despite the peering eyes of the judges who would make or break any performance, the gold and silver instruments shinned under the lights. The blare of horns and beating of drums carried out into the lobby until the last band, the Alliance High School concert band, ended the competition strong.