Band prepares for UIL with sectionals


Kennedy Williams

Band students are transitioning from an ensemble setting to an individual setting with sectionals. Students will be improving their skills for the upcoming UIL Solo and Ensemble Contest on Feb. 25.

Grant Milleson, Staff Reporter

With the upcoming UIL Solo and Ensemble contest on Feb. 25, band students are preparing before and after school to devise new skills.

“Students will be focusing heavily on improving individual skills during their sectionals,” assistant director of bands Cecily Yoakam said. “Some bands will be doing assessments of their music during this time as well as building individual skills to become better musicians. Mostly, students will focus on building strengths and skills such as double tonguing, technique and finger dexterity, and other concepts we can’t always get to in standard band class.”

Sectionals are divided based on instrument, with each group having their sectional on a different day.

“There are a lot of benefits to dividing the band for sectionals because it lets everybody understand their part better during the concert season,” freshman Janis Jaison said. “It makes us accountable to get better as the director hears us and can tell us ways to improve and provide tips to make us sound the best.”

The hope in dividing the bands is to assist students in devolving solo playing skills.

“Dividing students into different individual sections allows for students to learn on an individual basis in a different environment,” Yoakam said. “They might hear parts that are different from their own while still building their own individual part and skill level. It just breaks up their usual listening environments to challenge them further to get better.”

Sectionals also allow for a more one on one setting that helps students to learn their part better.

“I think the benefits of dividing the band based on instruments for sectionals is that we get to work more in depth on the sections parts,” freshman Robert Wang said. “Sectionals would let me better understand how my music sounds with just my section and allow me to learn my music faster.”

For Jaison, sectionals have taught her to become more confident in her playing.

“Sectionals will help me achieve some goals that I have for myself to get better on the trumpet,” She said. “So far, sectionals have helped me understand that I should play louder, and since trumpets do sectionals with trombones, I get to hear their part, which lets me listen to something and fit my sound within them.”