Band Members Perform at Honors Festival

Charlene Guerrero

On Saturday, January 18th, Fenwick students performed in the Elmhurst College Honors Band Festival.

The event seemed to be headed for disaster from the outset; the military colonel who was supposed to conduct the event was unable to make his flight from Colorado to Illinois due to flight cancellations.

To make matters worse, the inclement weather that kept the colonel stuck in Colorado was still around when the students arrived at Elmhurst College’s campus. The temperature did not get above 11 degrees all day, and the chilling temperature was paired with large ice patches and snow to complete a truly dreary scene. Instead of allowing these uncontrollable factors to determine the outcome of the event, the students and conductors of the event adapted to the conditions.A member of the staff at Elmhurst College kindly agreed to conduct the band, and the event was able to continue. A total of seven Fenwick students performed in the ensemble. Three of the students, Charlize Guerrero, Maddie Krzak, and Elise Weyer, performed in the 9/10 band comprised of underclassmen. The additional four students, Charlene Guerrero, Josh Richards, Mary Jacobs, and Ashley Williams, performed in the upperclassmen 11/12 ensemble. These seven students were chosen from a pool of over 250 Illinois band members to be among the elite 120 band members performing in the honors band.

The day consisted of two three hour rehearsals that built up to a performance showcasing all the work they had put into the music earlier that day. At the end of the rehearsals all the performers were tired, but the freshness and difficulty of the music kept the students engaged and excited for their performance.

The 9/10 band performed a mash-up of John Williams pieces. These pieces included the themes songs from Harry Potter and Indiana Jones, making these pieces among the fan favorites. Another one of the songs the 9/10 band performed included a solo from Fenwick first chair flute Charlize Guerrero.

The repertoire for the 11/12 band included a number of patriotic songs, fitting considering a colonel was meant to be conducting them. The songs they performed included American Flourish, Bonds of Unity, and Spirit of Endeavor. The final song, Spirit of Endeavor, was by far the most technically difficult piece. The directors had chosen a backup piece in case their selection of this piece was overly ambitious, but the students showed their talents and nailed their performance of this difficult yet classic piece. Upon the culmination of the piece, the conductor was moved nearly to tears by the beauty of the band’s music, concluding what had earlier seemed to be a doomed day on a profound note.