FHSD Students Make All-State Concert and Jazz Bands

Posted on 12/18/2017
FHSD Students Make All-State Concert and Jazz Bands

Band can be a metaphor for life. It takes practice to get good at it; and when things get you down, when you skip a beat or hit the wrong note, you have to keep pushing forward to succeed. Failure is not an option when you truly give it your all. That is the attitude of the outstanding band students in the Francis Howell School District, as well as why we have some of the best bands in the state. If you’re looking for further proof, FHSD had six students make the All-State Concert and Jazz Bands.

Francis Howell North had three students named to the All-State Concert Band (Ashley Raster, Clarinet 9th chair; Arianna Chaves, Clarinet 12th chair; Dominic Schneider, Tuba 2nd chair), and one earned an honorable mention in the All-State Jazz Band (Grant Argent, jazz guitar). Francis Howell Central, meanwhile, had two students earn spots, one in each band. Laurel Ammond will play French Horn for the Concert Band, and Sam Eckhoff was named an alternate in the Jazz Band (Jazz Bass).

It’s a painstaking audition process, and with so few spots available for all the band students in the entire state of Missouri, FHN Band Director Rob Stegeman knows the kind of dedication it requires to make this squad. “The students that will represent our school at the state level have work ethic beyond measure,” Stegeman said. “They also have endured failures in the past and have not backed down, but have used them as lessons to push them forward.”

That’s a great lesson for life – don’t let your disappointments define you. Instead, use failure as fuel as you fire up for your next challenge. FHC Band Director Nathan Griffin agrees. “In our program, we always talk about these auditions as building blocks for their future – whether it be for those who will be auditioning for a scholarship in college, auditioning for bands in their future, or becoming music majors. These auditions are to prepare them for how they will handle those experiences.”

The experience gained by students transcends the band room. Griffin added, “We also talk about these auditions as great experiences on how to handle life's stress, like job interviews. How to prepare for the stress and anxiety of putting yourself out there for something you really want, and then dealing with the wait and ultimately the answer whether good or bad.”

One thing we all certainly appreciate is the work being done in our schools’ band rooms, from students to directors. And if Band is a metaphor for life, judging by FHSD’s bands, life is pretty good.

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