It’s an Honor to be in Band



Seniors Alexis Hopper and Matthew Scott standing outside USF’s School of Music.

Alexis Hopper, Editor

Over the weekend, four Sunlake band students visited two different universities for two different honor band events. At University of South Florida, Senior Alexis Hopper on oboe and Senior Matthew Scott on trombone joined the Festival of Winds. Meanwhile, Senior Dyanne Palin on French horn and Senior James Melvin on saxophone visited Florida State University to attend the Tri-State Music Festival.

Seniors James Melvin and Dyanne Palin standing outside FSU. (Tracey Palin)

Alexis says that Festival of Winds was “really fun, but also really stressful. Everything is so fast-paced, and we had only four days to put on a whole concert.” Disaster struck when “less than an hour before the final concert, my oboe broke.” However, the silver lining to this was “being able to borrow one of the music major’s oboes. For sure the most beautiful instrument I’ve ever been allowed to play. I never met them, but I’m grateful they let me play, and on such an amazing instrument!” Her favorite part was “definitely during the double reed ensemble. We chose this ridiculous piece to perform, and we were all laughing with each other while practicing. On stage, we were all trying to not laugh while listening to the bassoons sing horribly and purposely making such a bad sound on our instruments. It was the most fun I had the entire weekend.”

Matthew had a very fulfilling experience at Festival of Winds. His favorite part was “by far the full ensemble practice…I got the wonderful opportunity to work alongside amazing musicians from across the state.” He states that “everything was worth it” being there. He learned many new things, from technical to personal. On the technical side, he learned “various things to improve my personal music playing” while on the personal side, he learned “that the music community is a wonderful community. It is a place of love and companionship.” He says “some people may get caught up in certain roles or placements, but in the end that doesn’t really matter. Simply making music is the main goal.” He would “absolutely go back” because “This is what I love doing. This is my life.”

Dyanne says she has done “any music festival available” and that she has “enjoyed each one of them” and Tri-State was no different. She enjoyed the “prism concert by the different FSU music ensembles,” though the masterclasses were disappointing because “we didn’t get to play in them as much as I thought we would.” However, she did learn “how to count time signatures better” and “got more confident in my playing.” Overall, she had a wonderful experience and would “love to do it again if I had the chance.”