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02 March 2006

Punxsutawney

Wow. That's a hard place to spell. But nevertheless, I'm here. As I mentioned in my post on District Band, I advanced to the Region Band level which is being held in the "Weather Capital of the World," Punxsutawney. Fortunately, my host family has high-speed Internet, so I should be able to blog a bit while I'm here.

There was a bit of controversy with the tryouts tonight. The blind auditions, which are supposed to be administered in a random order, were done in a rather "sorted" order instead. The student playing the first part in each section from District 3 (Punxsutawney's district) who chaired the highest at Districts went first, followed by District 3's second chair, third chair, etc. Then went the students playing the first part from District 2 (my district), in order of placement. Then the students playing the second part in the same fashion, etc.

This caused a bit of a conspiracy theory; that the District 3 directors were in cahoots with one another. I'm not so sure, but many students, especially those from District 2, were fuming.

But enough of that. I think I did rather well. Out of the two Trumpets II, I placed first. But that means nothing unless I beat enough of the other trumpets and cornets to make it to States. I'll find that out in the next couple of days, and I'll post it here at my earliest opportunity.

Oh, yeah. And my mother insists that we go to the Punxsutawney Memorial Library after Saturday's concert to see Punxsutawney Phil. She said "if we're driving all the way to Punxsutawney, we are seeing that groundhog!" Actually, Phil is scheduled to make an appearance at the school some time this weekend just for the Region Band students. How special.

And I got to meet my friend Ben again! So, I'll definitely enjoy this weekend, and I hope you do the same.

2 comments:

art said...

well... anti-conspiracy theory... what if the "random order" of 1, 2, 3, actually was the random order picked? i mean, the odds of pulling the numbers in the exact order for all instruments is slim to none, but hey, they say if you got a billion monkeys with a billion typewriters...

anti-conspiracy theory 2: assuming my above theory is false (and you know it is), did the judges know ahead of time that the order is not random? did they know who was walking in when? if they did not know, and they only found out after the winners were decided, then it should not matter. the auditions were still blind (i assume), so everyone got a fair chance.

and as an aside to that, putting their own district 3 first should actually be a disadvantage... from what i understand about judging (by talking with my choir director), you don't want to be first auditioning, because they'll generally rate you as middle-of-the-road. this way, they can rate others as higher or lower as they come along.

TJ said...

"Art's" Theory 2 is sort of what I thought, but other people were a lot more mad than I was. Still, you should never deliberately sort auditions by chair, even if they don't know ahead of time.

As for Theory 3, the walls between the holding room and the audition were not thick enough to absorb all the sound from many of the louder instruments (even flutes). But Audition Number 1 (first chair first from District 3) didn't know this going into their audition, so they wouldn't have been as nervous. I know that's not a factor for many, but it certainly affected some.

And, yes, they probably did rate the first few auditions as middle-of-the-road. But since the people after them were (supposedly) worse, the scores dropped off dramatically from what I have heard. One flute judge said they were the worst auditions he had ever judged, that he only scored three out of eighteen flutes higher than 40 (out of 60, I think), and that everyone else just "crashed and burned." The worst part was, he said this in front of a couple flute players, one of whom truly did struggle. Totally not professional.

But oh, well. We'll get through it. The three Girardians are moderately confident that at least one of us made it to States (hopefully more).

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