Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

St. Louis Students Audition for All Suburban Band

Amelia+Drake+%2810%29+practices+the+vibraphone+to+prepare+for+her+All-Suburban+band+audition.+Drake+is+auditioning+as+a+percussionist%2C+which+requires+the+ability+to+play+a+wide+variety+of+instruments+such+as+timpani%2C+marimba+and+drums.
Luke Ye
Amelia Drake (10) practices the vibraphone to prepare for her All-Suburban band audition. Drake is auditioning as a percussionist, which requires the ability to play a wide variety of instruments such as timpani, marimba and drums.

Young musicians from suburban St. Louis gathered at Ladue Horton Watkins High School Nov. 6 for the MMEA District 5 All-Suburban Band Auditions. Ladue students helped volunteer for the event, serving as room monitors and helping move chairs and music stands to the correct rooms.

The All-Suburban band is a program overseen by the Missouri Music Educators Association, who also organizes All-Suburban bands for other districts across Missouri and the All-State Band. The audition is both technically challenging and rigorous. Over 450 students audition, but only around 70 students make it into the band.

“[All-Suburban] helps me [and] makes you practice,” freshman Revathy Chadalavada said. “I feel like I’ve gotten better these past two weeks.”

The audition material is made to be much more difficult than what students typically play in a school band, but anyone, with enough practice, can perform well on the auditions.

“We use the same [music] they use in All-State,” band teacher Aaron Lehde said. “There are a couple of etudes that are pulled out of standard etude books at the college level. And then there are some technique exercises and their scales, all 12 scales, major and melodic minor, full range of the instruments. When kids actually go into the room, the judge could ask from any of them. They don’t have to play all of it.”

Lehde helps host the All-Suburban Band, which has been hosted at Ladue for the past 22 years. The band rehearses on many Monday nights, which Lehde helps conduct. After many rehearsals, the band performs in a festival in the first week of January.

“The thing that’s unique about [All-Suburban] is it connects to the All-State level,” Lehde said. “And then you can participate in All-State band, then you can audition for All-National band. We have had a few kids over the years who have done so.”

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Aaron Lin
Aaron Lin, Staff
Sophomore Aaron Lin is a first-year staff on Panorama. Legend says that he has never tasted the delicacy "gum."
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