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BV West Music Department Represents at KMEA

Chelsea Park, Reporter

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Most students got three days off of school due to icy roads and bad weather last week. However, the BV West Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble 1 and Chamber headed to Wichita instead. These three music ensembles were selected to perform for the Kansas Music Educators Association (KMEA) this year. 

Chamber is one of the choir groups at BV West, and its members put in much effort to memorize their songs and charge their performances with emotion. KMEA was a meaningful trip and performance for Chamber as they discovered their unity and power as a group.

“We have been working on the pieces since the beginning of the school year,” Lindsey Calendar said. “Every day we would focus on a certain musical aspect whether it be dynamics, diction or expression and perfect that in all seven pieces. Many days, we would lay on the floor in the dark and sing without accompaniment in order to listen to ourselves and create a unified emotion to portray to our audience. [In the end,] the performance went well! We were all very proud of how it turned out because we felt like it represented our group perfectly.”

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble (SWE) performed a program consisting of many classic repertoires that included pieces of the collegiate level that required dedication from all members of the group. Ultimately the hard work paid off and the group delivered a successful performance with high energy.

“We rehearsed diligently for our performance since August, with many outside rehearsals on our days off and extra rehearsals before school, as well as during JAG,” Evelyn Cheung said. “No performance is perfect, but ours had perfect energy. We played our best for 30 minutes, and didn’t regret a second of it.”

Jazz Ensemble 1 put together a set that was entertaining yet impressive to the audience, including pieces that aren’t typically performed by high school jazz bands and a piece that was arranged specifically for this ensemble. Each member of this group sacrificed their personal time to dedicate it towards the ensemble.

“We mostly practiced within the school day with only two or three outside rehearsals,” Kelly Bushouse said. “We also had several clinicians from all over the area to come give us advice and help us perfect our set. It was a little rough at times, but we always knew we would pull through in the end and our performance was amazing and exciting!”

Although these groups arrived in Wichita on Wednesday, all three performances took place on Feb. 23. Chamber, SWE, and Jazz 1 all dedicated much time and effort to achieve strong performances.

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