Liberty band students accepted in college honor bands

Band members at Liberty Middle School have been auditioning and earning seats in honor bands at Alabama colleges.

The honor band at the University of Alabama in Huntsville included students in North Alabama and South Tennessee, Liberty band director Gwen Rakoff said. The University of Alabama at Birmingham honor band is a statewide organization.

Directors nominated students based on their musicianship, technical ability, character and academics.

For Auburn University, students applied with a resume at the AU Band Web site. “The Auburn Director of Bands then sent a list of students and asked for recommendations,” Rakoff said.

For all honor bands, Liberty musicians auditioned for chair placement by playing scales, a prepared excerpt or etude and sight-reading.

Students in the UAH Junior High Honor Band were freshmen Sureena Montiero-Pai, bass clarinet; Moon Su Kang, contra-alto clarinet; Jesse Hartfield, alto saxophone; Brian Bradley, tenor saxophone; Logan Esterling, baritone saxophone; Eric Bean and Dean Gernon, trumpet; Austin Bartlett, euphonium; Randall Fletcher, tuba; and eighth-grader Jordan Wynja, trumpet.

UAB sponsored white, green and festival (or top) honor bands for middle school students. Liberty eighth-graders earning chairs were Lorraine Rosello, tuba, white; Armon Mobasher, trombone, green; and Cindy Ratkovich, clarinet, Rebecca Draper, alto saxophone; Thomas Griffin, trombone and Ethan Rakoff, tuba, festival honor band.

Logan Esterling, a freshman baritone saxophonist, will perform with the Auburn High School Symphonic Honor Band.

Liberty students in Auburn’s middle school symphonic honor band are freshmen Maddie Kelley, clarinet; Sureena Monteiro-Pai, bass clarinet; Hannah McMillen, French horn; Austin Bartlett, euphonium; and eighth-grader Noah Elmore, trombone. Eighth-grade flutist Sarah DeFalco was selected for the Auburn Junior Honor Band.

Honor bands have a “strenuous weekend of rehearsals and performances,” Rakoff said. After auditions on Thursday afternoon, they start rehearsals Thursday night, continue rehearsing all day on Friday and prepare for a Saturday evening concert.

“Students spend about 14 hours preparing for the final concert,” Rakoff said. “It’s truly amazing what they can accomplish and quality of music, in just the span of a weekend.”

In the honor bands, the Liberty students are collaborating with students across the region, learning from clinic conductors and receiving exposure to outstanding music, she said.

“When I auditioned, I wasn’t scared, but I was very anxious,” Randall Fletcher said. “No matter how much anybody practices, they still get butterflies in their stomach. I learned to play better and to play with a wide variety of instruments.”

“We’re placing more students into our district and all-state honor bands than ever before,” Rakoff said. “My goal is to continue to build a band program to make our community, our school and especially these students and parents very proud.”

Ethan Rakoff said he enjoyed meeting students from other bands at UAB. “It was really fun for me as his band director and also as his proud mom,” Gwen Rakoff said.

Bob Jones High School

Samantha Chan Selected Presidential Scholar- Uses Swimming And Academics To Perfection

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Cotton Row Run 2024 Set For Memorial Day Morning

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Disc Golf Alive And Well In Madison

Madison

Third infant surrendered at Madison Safe Haven Baby Box

Bob Jones High School

“Where It Belongs”- The Bob Jones Patriots Earn Baseball State Championship

James Clemens High School

Liberty’s Shravan Balaji wins ‘Best of Fair Award’ in regional science fair

Events

Trash Pandas hosting Elvis tribute night contest on May 21

James Clemens High School

French, Latin students at James Clemens excel in testing

Harvest

Enable Madison County announces needed asset at event

James Clemens High School

Koswoski awarded Department of Alabama’s ‘VFW Scout of the Year’

James Clemens High School

Lilliann Markowitz achieves top rank in Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Sea Cadets

Bob Jones High School

Madison’s JROTC cadets challenged in Rocket City Rivalry Day

James Clemens High School

McDaniel, Stundtner, Vaughn and Woodard earn national grants

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – May 15, 2024

Madison

Bob Jones bests Central-Phenix City in opening game of State Championship

Bob Jones bests Central-Phenix City in opening game of State Championship

Harvest

TARCOG’s Senior Fun Fest moves to Agribition Center at Alabama A&M University

Bob Jones High School

Heavyweight Baseball- Bob Jones To Play For State Championship

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones holds off James Clemens in epic Final Four series to reach state final

Bob Jones holds off James Clemens in epic Final Four series to reach state final

Huntsville

Huntsville crews continue to assess damage and clear debris following strong storms

Bob Jones High School

Chess league to host Summer Camp in June

Madison

American Legion to honor Gold Star families on Memorial Day

James Clemens High School

Dr. Kerry Donaldson honored as ‘Alabama PTA Principal of the Year’

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones Jazz Band to play at Jazz Brunch at Madison Senior Center

Harvest

Madison Lions’ air filtration helps Village of Promise, Second Mile

x