Band to host ensemble showcase March 4


Photo by Andie San Luis

Freshman Jake Johnson plays his bassoon during the mid-winter concert on Feb. 26. Johnson performed with the concert band, led by assistant band director Zack Anderson.

The band will host its annual ensemble showcase on Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Performances will take place on the main and freshman campus cafeteria stages.

“The purpose of hosting the ensemble showcase is to give the small ensembles a chance to perform [before] the LISD contest,” assistant band director Travis Pruitt said. “[It also] gives them experience and provides another performance opportunity [for the students.]” 

Aside from performing with their designated band classes, students are given the chance to form their own small chamber ensembles. A majority of them are student-led with occasional director guidance.

“Performing in small ensembles really develops the individual student musician in a different way than all-state, solo music or a full band setting would,” Pruitt said. “There’s an individual responsibility of knowing your part since you’re the only one on that part, [which] raises the stakes.”

In past years, students have been able to participate in an unlimited number of small ensembles; however, COVID-19 restrictions allow for students to only partake in one small ensemble. Aside from one small group, students are allowed to join larger ensembles, such as section choirs. 

“This is the first time I’ve been in a flute choir in high school,” junior flute player Megan Ramos said. “I think it’s really cool that we were able to pull it together in such a short amount of time [since] it was more of a last minute thing.” 

In addition to restrictions on participation, preparation processes have also been altered. 

“[Preparation has] been pretty interesting because it’s harder to coordinate with the pandemic,” Ramos said. “It’s been harder to schedule rehearsals with the directors, and we have limited practicing space because everyone is so spread out.”

After the showcase, students will be submitting videos of their group performances to be judged at the LISD Solo and Ensemble Contest. Recordings are due March 11.

“I’m looking forward to the kids’ performances on Thursday,” Pruitt said. “I hope they [play] well and that their preparation comes to light on stage.”