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Twenty-seven New Braunfels High School Mighty Unicorn Band members will be making the 1,100+ mile trek to Indianapolis to perform on the national stage this spring.
The percussion ensemble has gone through an intense audition process, which ultimately led to an invite to the Music for All National Band Festival, said NBHS Percussion Director Craig Turner. The percussionists are set to take the stage during the festival which is being held from March 31 to April 2.
“It will be a great opportunity for our students to perform in front of their peers and college-level judges as well as being able to watch other ensembles perform,” Turner said.
This is the first time NBHS has been invited to perform at this competition. Over the last two years, under the guidance of Turner, the percussion ensemble has vigorously worked at this type of recorded audition.
“Last year we really just ramped it up and started playing college level literature,” he said. “They’ve taken to it and really just started to do it at an extremely high level. It’s very exciting for them.”
Recorded music for the festival was submitted in early June after twelve NBHS percussionists recorded about 15 minutes of music. Other percussion members then competed during the middle of summer band camp for the remaining seats in the ensemble that will head to Indiana. The Unicorn percussion ensemble was one of 12 groups nationwide that were selected for the 2023 festival.
“It’s an extremely big deal,” Turner said. “It’s difficult to get in and some of the best percussion ensembles in the nation have been invited to this, and the level of performance is truly astounding.”
Josiah Granado is a senior drum captain who played on the recordings that were submitted to the college-level judges earlier this year.
“The whole process was very hard and long,” he said. “The practice hours were very intense, but that’s what you need to be great.”
Granado was an all-state percussionist last year as a junior, and he said that he’s enjoyed working hard to achieve fulfillment at the national level.
“This is just an awesome opportunity for all of us,” he said. “The best part will be getting to go on a trip with all of my bandmates.”
Trevor Dietert is a junior member of the percussion ensemble, who is a co-captain of the marching band front ensemble and a top performer during his sophomore year. While the process wasn’t easy, he said he didn’t mind because he was able to learn so much.
“I think it was a difficult process,” Dietert said. “It was lots of fun seeing the upperclassmen and getting to play and learn from them.”
Hard work from the entire group has been rewarding for Dietert, and he couldn’t believe the news when Turner had told them that they had been invited to the Music for All Festival.
“I honestly was just freaking out,” Dietert said. “I was standing in the auditorium, and I was just jumping because I honestly didn’t even think we had a shot to make it.”
Fundraising efforts to assist with getting these students to Indianapolis will get underway soon with help from the band boosters. NBISD will announce fundraising information when it has been decided.
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