Students to play together in Band-O-Rama

Seeliger Sax player Joshua Barbie, 9, practices with his bandmates for a performance at Carson High School.

Seeliger Sax player Joshua Barbie, 9, practices with his bandmates for a performance at Carson High School.

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Band teacher Carol Doede reminded students to count silently between their parts while practicing "Homage to America" at Seeliger Elementary School on Tuesday.

"Clarinets, you came in too soon," Doede prodded. "You can't play this by ear. Remember, there'll be a thousand of us playing this, so you've got to watch."

The students will join with about 950 other fifth- through ninth-graders throughout the school district tonight to play in the annual Band-O-Rama concert.

"I'm excited," said Seeliger Elementary School fifth-grader Charlotte Ravenelle, 11, who plays the flute. "I like playing in the band a lot because it's just fun."

Doede has taught band at Seeliger, Bordewich-Bray and Fritsch elementary schools for 26 years and said studies have shown playing an instrument gives students many advantages, including higher scores on standardized tests.

"First of all, it increases their self-confidence and self-esteem," she said. "Playing an instrument uses more of their entire brain than any other activity. It uses both left and right sides."

Sam Osheroff, 11, won't be thinking about which side of his brain he's using, however, when he's playing his trumpet tonight.

"I like being in front of people," he said. "I like it if they smile, but I don't like it if they're pointing and laughing."

More than a showcase for parents and community members, the concert is also a way for younger band members to associate with more experienced players.

"The biggest benefit is for the fifth-graders -- they get to hear middle and high school bands," Doede said. "They know what they can look forward to if they keep playing. This is probably our biggest recruitment tool for high school band."

But getting them there can be a challenge.

"They're so excited so some classes have been off the wall," she said. "In general this is a big deal for them."

And she left them with a few words of advice at the end of the day in preparation for dress rehearsal today.

"At 8:55 load the bus, be nice to the chaperones and I'll see you at the high school."

If you go:

What: Band-O-Rama

Where: Carson High School gymnasium

When: 7 tonight


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