Every year, the Imperial Valley Music Educators Association puts on the Honors Concert which consists of the best middle school and high school musicians in the Imperial Valley. Only the best of the best in the Valley are accepted into the groups, therefore this event is highly anticipated amongst the Valley’s young musicians.

In order to get into Honor Band, one must learn an excerpt from a piece of music and play it to the best of their ability in front of an adjudicator. They must also demonstrate a high level of skill and technique on their instrument by playing musical scales and other excerpts. The adjudicator judges the musician based on their audition performance and further decides if they have what it takes to be in Honor Band.

Freshman Joshua Phillips, whose first time in Honor Band has been this year, said that the audition process was very nerve-racking, seeing as it was his first time trying out.

“It made me feel inexperienced because I thought the music was performed one way but people would tell me it was another way.”

Phillips is also a first-time percussionist in the Pride of Imperial marching band and concert band.

Although the process for first-time auditioners can be stressful, for returning members it can be a confidence boost.

For Dong-Min Yeom, who is a senior trumpet player at Imperial High School, the fact that he auditioned and got first chair, which is the highest possible honor for members, boosted his confidence in his abilities.

“It made me feel confident and I knew that I had to get first chair … you have to enjoy the audition to show off your abilities to the auditioner.”

Yeom is a returning member of Honor band as he has been in it for three years.

Not only does the audition process boost the confidence of some, but it teaches the ones auditioning how to be self-assured and to be responsible in learning their music. For those who plan on continuing music after high school, being in Honor Band is a great experience and adds to their resume of things that set them apart musically.

Gia Jeffries, who is a sophomore flute player for Imperial High School and was also in Honor Band, says that being in the Honors group will help her with her future career.

“I plan to continue with music after high school, and the audition and past experience in the Honor Band has prepared me for future auditions that I may need to do in my career.”

The day of the concert is one of the longest in the participant’s experience in Honor Band. They are required to get there at 9 a.m. and rehearse until 12:30 p.m. From there, they are allowed a one-hour lunch and return to rehearse from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. From then on, they eat dinner supplied by IVMEA and get ready for their concert.

The Honor Band concert took place at Jimmie Cannon Theater for the Performing Arts on Jan. 30. Overall, the concert went smoothly and students were pleased with their performance and cannot wait to audition next year for a chance to perform with some of the best musicians in the Valley.

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