The cacophony of multiple instruments tuning up in the Carson High School gymnasium Thursday evening gave way to a showcase of the district's band program during the annual Bandorama presentation.
Bandorama gathers the 475 school district band students, in fifth through 12th grades, under one roof for a combined performance.
"It's amazing, (parents, administrators and others in the audience) get to see in one event what the band program in Carson City does," Jarod Sorum, director of bands and orchestra at Carson High School, said in the midst of preparation the day before the concert. "They see the progress from students who have only been playing six months to those playing eight years. Here's where the (first-year) kids are now, and here's what could be" if they continue playing.
Bandorama also is a time for the youngest students to hear the older students perform and be inspired to continue. It's presented shortly before band registration for the next school year.
Speaking to the elementary school students during the Thursday morning rehearsal - the first and only combined rehearsal - Sorum encouraged them to listen carefully to the high school performance, especially the last piece. In "Carnival of the Animals" by Camille Saint-Saëns, the separate movements each represent a different animal, using different instruments, he said.
"Specifically listen to your instrument," Sorum said.
Bandorama also reminds older students how much their skills have grown through time and perseverance.
High school seniors served as masters of ceremony and talked about what band has done for them and how it affects their futures, including fueling a desire to continue on to college.
The Bandorama performance consisted of four bands: a combined elementary school band, intermediate- and advanced-level middle school bands, and the high school band. Each played a couple of selections. The program culminated with a piece played by all the bands together.
During a set-up break at Thursday's rehearsal, elementary school band instructors Alan Catron, from Bordewich Bray Elementary, and Carla Sims, from Fritsch Elementary, talked about how important Bandorama is to their students.
"They can hear themselves in a really large group," Sims said, something that doesn't happen in the individual schools.
"It's a big motivator," Catron said. "Seeing those kids down there (in the high school section) shows where they can be, what they can strive for."