by Robert Perales, A&E Editor
After an extensive audition process, the top placing students from Band were selected to compete and perform at the Illinois Music Education Association (IMEA) on Jan. 24, 25 and 26 in Peoria, Ill.
Five WHS students were selected to compete at IMEA including Ronald Roth, junior, who placed fourth chair in the honor band out of 50 students.
“I’ve played the trumpet for seven years. I felt great with that standing, but I do wish I would have practiced more. It is harder to make it twice in a row, but I hope I have the chance to tryout again,” Roth said.
Like Roth, Matt Kulczak, junior, performed and placed in the top Honor Band but in the flute category. Kulczak was placed as the first chair flute in the Honor Band.
“I am very satisfied and could not be more pleased with my placement at IMEA,” Kulczak said. “I think that the success of peers from D214 will encourage students to bring a stronger sense of responsibility and pride to their programs at WHS; the tangible dividends from the hard work of peers and staff alike will urge students to attain similar goals and strive for excellence.”
Three other students also performed and placed at IMEA including Chelsie Coren, Kaitlyn Nielsen and Adam Korber, seniors.
According to Korber, who also placed in the top Honors Orchestra, IMEA helped enforce his plan to major in Music Education and Cello performance.
“Making all-state only solidified my reasoning for doing what I want to do. Working with the director I worked with really showed me how rewarding and awesome it can be,” Korber said. “Sure, music requires a lot of study and work, but it is totally worth doing what you love.”
Coren placed eigth chair in the honor band out of 84 clarinetists. While she felt “happy” with her standing, she had a different approach toward IMEA.
“In the grand scheme of things, making all state will not really matter. Though it’s an honor, there are great musicians that didn’t go. So, the result definitely did not have an impact on my plans for the future,” Coren said. “This year was definitely an up year for D214, and Wheeling in particular. However, the audition process is pretty rigged, and some student who deserves to go did not get the opportunity. Still, even though people keep working hard and practicing, the audition results are out of their control.”
On that same note, Nielsen was unable to qualify for the Honor Band because her instrument kept her from entering the honor band.
“At IMEA I was the only English horn there. I was automatically placed in the All-state band because they had no English horn parts for the honors group,” Nielsen said. “IMEA did not change my plans for the future. It only reaffirmed my plans for pursuing music in college,” Nielsen said.
In comparison to previous years, WHS continued to excel sending an additional two members to IMEA resulting in five total members.
In preparation for the upcoming year, Kulczak will continue to practice and strive for excellence in order to remain in Honor Band next year.
“In preparations for next year, I plan to continue developing my technique by preparing several concertos and expanding my musicianship by continuing an active role in my youth orchestra, MYA (Midwest Young Artists),” Kulczak said. “I will also start preparing next year’s IMEA etudes promptly over the summer.”