In elementary school, Samantha Matranga's favorite part of the year was when all the bands came together for the annual Band-O-Rama concert.
"It was amazing to see the high school band and know I could be a part of it someday," she recalled. "I could look up to them."
As a senior at Carson High School now, she still enjoys the districtwide performance.
"It's neat to see how excited they get because that's how I felt," she said. "It's good to see how many kids still want to go into band."
Band members from all of the elementary, middle and high schools in Carson City joined together Tuesday evening for the annual Band-O-Rama.
"It's like a really big sound," said Stephanie Dodge, 11, who plays the trombone. "It's bigger than when you're in your own band."
Students practiced together Tuesday morning before their big performance that evening in the Carson High School gymnasium.
"We start out with a small number than grow to so many," said Richard Shroy, a sixth-grade tenor saxophone player. "You just practice together one day and it's amazing how well we play together.
"It's so exciting."
It was especially exciting for the Empire Elementary School band, which has only eight members.
"This is the first time they've actually been able to hear was a large band sounds like when it's all put together," said music teacher Christina O'Neil. "They've never experienced anything like this before."
O'Neil played the flute in her elementary school and middle school bands before playing in the band at Carson High School.
"I've been involved in the Band-O-Rama at all levels," she said. "You have beginning to advanced band members in one room. It's fascinating."
Robert Brooks, Carson High School band director, said Band-O-Rama is more than an opportunity to perform. It is an opportunity to grow.
"They need to see the direction they're going," he said. "They need to see that it's worth it to practice.
"Hopefully, they're inspired by what they hear and what they see."
The elementary schools will come together for an all-city choir performance Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Carson City Community Center.
Contact Teri Vance at email@example.com or at 881-1272.