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Fourteen students make All-District Band

Matt Mallery conducts the sixth grade band

All-District Band is an honors ensemble made up of the most talented local middle school musicians. Union County is part of the South Central District of North Carolina Bands which includes thirteen school districts and all the middle schools within that region. This year nearly 1000 students in the South Central region auditioned for All-District Band. Marvin Ridge Middle School brought 29 students to South Point High School in Gaston County on January 12 to audition. 

Auditions are rigorous and thoroughly test a student’s mastery of music and of their instrument. Each audition includes judging in three areas; scales, playing a prepared solo and sight reading. Chase Kanipe, who earned a 3rd chair placement in trombone, said, “Sight reading is the hardest because you are given a piece of music you have never seen before and you have to play it in front of three or four judges.”

A student’s final score is a combined total of results from all judges and determines their placement in the competition. Fourteen MRMS students scored high enough to earn a spot in the All-District Band. “This 50% rate of acceptance is extremely high and is only matched by a few other middle school band programs across the state,” said band director Mr. Chris Hardesty. “It takes time and dedication to prepare for auditions and we are proud of all of our students’ efforts,” he said.

These fourteen students will participate in an upcoming weekend band clinic in which they will have the opportunity to learn from veteran music educators and college professors, meet music composers and play music with some of the best middle school musicians in the area. Over the weekend they rehearse a new piece of music together and finish the weekend with a concert performance. Sometimes the pieces they play are written specially for this performance and are premiered at the concert.

Five of our top All-District Band members, Lisa Walters, Megan Zhang, Chase Kanipe, Christoph Zimmerman and Adam Jeniski will go to audition for the All-State Band. This is the highest possible honor for band students in North Carolina.

Much of the success of the band can also be attributed to Band Directors Chris Hardesty and Matt Mallery. With over 350 students in their band program they work diligently to make sure each one is provided individual attention and encouragement. Some students come to them in 6th grade having never picked up an instrument before. By mid-year most have made incredible progress and are able to play several selections.

Congratulations to the following MRMS students who made All-District Band:

Lisa Walter (Symphonic Band, 1st Chair – Flute)
Dayna Hagstedt (Symphonic Band, 4th Chair – Flute)
Faith Choi (Symphonic Band, 10th Chair – Flute)
Megan Zhang (Symphonic Band, 1st Chair – Clarinet)
Hansen Dendinger (Symphonic Band, 10th Chair – Clarinet)
Daniel Haller (Symphonic Band, 16th Chair – Clarinet)
Haley Rose (Symphonic Band, 19th Chair – Clarinet)
Abby Dewey (Concert Band, 4th Chair – Trumpet)
Christoph Zimmerman (Symphonic Band, 1st Chair – French Horn)
Adam Jeniski (Symphonic Band, 3rd Chair – French Horn)
Connor Dill (Symphonic Band, 4th Chair – French Horn)
Chase Kanipe (Symphonic Band, 3rd Chair – Trombone)
Mitchell Erb (Symphonic Band, 5th Chair – Trombone)
Luke Habegger (Concert Band, 3rd Chair – Trombone)


Written by: Brita Mann
Posted: Jan 30, 2013 by Brita Mann

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