Carson Middle School band collects two trophies |

Carson Middle School band collects two trophies

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Tabitha Howk, 14, plays the flute with the Carson Middle School band Tuesday morning. The band took first-place in its division and first-place overall at the Music in the Parks competition in Santa Clara, Calif., onFriday.

Though members of Carson Middle School’s concert band described their overall performance at a national competition as “off-beat in the beginning,” the judges thought they were good enough to earn two awards.

About 20 Carson Middle School band students competed in Music in the Parks held Friday in Santa Clara, Calif. They took home tall trophies for best overall junior high/middle school concert band and first place 1AA middle school concert band.

The judges announced the fourth place, then third and second before announcing the first-place winners for one of the categories.

“We were a little nervous,” said Kristalei Wolfe, 13, who plays baritone.

But when they finally heard their school name “we were the smallest and the loudest band there,” said Kathleen Bryant, 14, an eighth-grader who plays tuba.

Tiffany Thompson, 13, a seventh-grade flute player, recreated her reaction Tuesday morning outside the band room by jumping up and down and letting off a high-pitched squeal.

“We were like this,” she said.

Also a source of pride was that the band’s score was higher than most of the high school bands participating, said Will Blankenship, the school’s band director.

After a warm-up performance, the band played “Big Ten March” and “Under An Irish Sky.”

“They held their own,” Blankenship said. “This was so cool.”

This is the group’s third year traveling to the competition and their second actually competing, though they did play during their first visit. They placed second last year, Blankenship said.

The students also participated in the Nevada Day Parade as a marching band.

Flutist Brandi Crone a 13-year-old seventh-grader, kicks off her sandals during practice because it helps her play better, she said.

All but one of the school’s band members are seventh- and eighth-graders, with one sixth-grader. Most of the students have been playing musical instruments for three to four years.

The students got a chance to relax once the competition was over: They spent Saturday at the Great America amusement park.

While the students expect to do such things as own a restaurant, design clothes or work to save animals when they grow up, one of the band members expects to “play guitar and be an architect,” said Harrison Root, who is 13, in seventh grade and plays saxophone in the band.

Root said he expects to play music “all his life.”

Most of the students in band are in virtually every other activity the school provides, and could be best described as the “best kids in school,” Blankenship said.

While most young people don’t move on to careers in music, it’s a skill that “enhances all their lives,” he said.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.


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