HHS students in All-Region Band
Ken McLemore, Hope Public Schools

HOPE – Three Hope High School band students recently advanced to Arkansas All-Region Band, and one has qualified to audition for the Arkansas All-State Band.

HPS Director of Bands Dr. Peter Maggio said senior Brittany Craig, senior Skylar Howard, and sophomore Justice Glenn all advanced to the All-Region Band. Glenn has also qualified to audition for the All-State Band in February.

Craig performs on clarinet and also participated in the Four States Regional Band in Texarkana; Howard plays saxophone, and also participated in the Four States Regional Band. Justice, who plays bass clarinet will audition for All-State honors Feb. 6 at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.

Maggio said the All-State Band clinic and concert will be at the Hot Springs Convention Center, Feb. 11-13.

“We’re trying to give them the honor band experiences, first,” he said, noting that those kinds of competitions build good practice habits and performance skills.

But, Maggio said there is a debate among public school band directors in Arkansas at the moment over changes to the competition model. He said the competition auditions are based upon a too-extensive musical library in many instances.

Clarinet and trumpet students, for instance, have at least a dozen different required audition pieces they must learn, but only a total of about 12 measures are used at random by judges in competition. He said all students must also perform assigned scales or rudiments, and percussion students must perform on three instruments including, snare drum, tympani drums, and mallet instruments such as xylophone or chimes.

“That keeps a lot of students who might audition and qualify from trying out,” Maggio said.