Wind ensemble wows crowd at TMEA

Megan Messer, Opinions Editor

Band’s wind ensemble wowed their audience when they showcased at Texas Music Educators Association convention last Friday. As winners of the 2018 6A TMEA Honor Band Competition, this year’s ensemble got to perform in San Antonio.

“The concert went beyond any of our expectations,” senior Pranav Batra said. “Everything went right and felt like the stars had aligned. It was incredible, certainly the best concert Vandegrift has ever put on in my time in the wind ensemble since I was a freshman.”

When last year’s wind ensemble was titled 6A Honor Band Champions, they were given the opportunity to perform at TMEA. Many students attended the performance and agreed it was enjoyable to watch.

“The theater was packed with people and everyone wanted to hear us because of how good of a band performance we have,” senior Justin Jalomo said. “Honestly, it was pretty overwhelming.”

Even a week later, some students said they are still stoked from the turnout of the performance at TMEA.

“Seats were filled to the point where people sat on the ground and in the hallways outside the concert hall just to listen,” Batra said. “It’s been several days and I’m honestly still in shock, it reminded me why I love music so much.”

Band prepared for this concert for many months, starting back in October when marching season was in full swing. Practices started at 7:30 a.m. most days, continued through class and lasted until 6 p.m. on Mondays.

“It was preparation like I had never experienced before,” Batra said. “Personally, I had to up my playing endurance to tackle such a long concert. On a full band level, day in and day out, we had rehearsals.”

Despite many students feeling nervous before the show, they were reminded of how hard they had worked on the songs. This year, the band included pieces from David Maslanka Symphony Four, collegiate level works of music that are difficult for most high school bands to master.

“This was the culmination of months of work and I knew it was going to be a memorable performance,” Batra said. “An hour-long concert is no walk in the park, it’s the kind of thing that’s just waiting for a mistake. But once I saw the energetic crowd, I knew this performance would be good and my nerves quickly subsided.”

Looking back, band members are proud to say this was one of their greatest performances.

We left it out on stage for the crowd,” Jalomo said. “We just wanted to give the audience a performance that they would always remember.”