All Region Band – Ashlynn Barron

Trista Truong, Writer

Everyone loves playing their band instrument for twelve hours! Right? Not a great way to spend your weekend, but the experience is definitely one to remember. All region band is a band consisting of students from all around the region who audition for a chair. The audition process is long and nerve wracking. If the student passes, they get placed in a band. The better you do, the higher the chair. Then after that long process, they hold a concert the next day. It sounds boring. It is. To some, this is their favorite event. On the other hand, kids dread all region.

There are three bands you can possible join. The lowest is third and the highest is first. Students will fight to the death in order to get a chair in first band, but if they’re like me, they will try their hardest to fail the audition and not make it. Many students don’t even want to audition, but no matter the choice, it is a good learning experience.

Ashlynn Barron is a freshman at Chaffin and this was her first year trying out for all region band. “It was terrifying and different and it just looked stressful.” It can be very intimidating for a newbie. I mean, who wouldn’t be scared to play in front of professional musicians behind a curtain judging your every mistake, every breath, every note? That is not an exaggeration. This feeling does not come to all the students. Some may be very confident, but that is a very little amount.

Ashlynn was very nervous and very sure she did not make it. Even though she isn’t the biggest fan of band, she couldn’t help but hope to make it. She didn’t waste her entire weekend for nothing. However, she was very relieved to find out she had made it! To further her excitement, she had made second band first chair! All that worrying was for nothing and proved that maybe she did know what she was doing.

All region clinic took place a month after auditions. To be honest, Ashlynn and her friends were dreading this day. Twelve long hours of sitting (with of course the occasional five minute break) and blowing into a useless piece of wood with holes. To make things even better, she chipped her reed. What a great way to start her day. Look on the bright side, you get to leave school. Rehearsal took place at Darby Junior High. We met the clinician who was so sweet and very good at her job. I asked Barron what was something that happened that she didn’t expect. She answered, “I didn’t expect to keep playing and going. I thought we’d stop more and work as a section instead of together. Also, our low brass section was mind blowing. They had such a rich sound and I wish we had one just as great at home.”

There are always the favorite parts and of course the least favorite parts of an event. Barron’s favorite part was “The music and how well our clinician conducted.” The music was stuck in our heads by the end of the two days. We ask the director to play it continuously and hum the tune every chance we get! Least favorite? Ashlynn chuckles and responds without hesitation, “practicing for 12 hours.” There were teeth intentions in her mouth from biting the reed by the end of two days. “I had my clarinet on my bottom teeth for so long that it moved my teeth out of place. My retainer doesn’t fit anymore!” Yikes.

The end of every new experience comes a new life lesson. What did you learn from all region? “There are people who actually devote their time to their instrument and take band very seriously.” Something Ashlynn wants say to the Chaffin band is that, “they should work harder and stop complaining so much. The faster they get things done, the faster they can move on.” Ashlynn also plans on taking band next year as well as participating in all region. See? It wasn’t so bad. Now, Ashlynn can be one of those kids who look forward to all region band.

Go ahead. Call us band geeks. We know we are, but you have your hobbies we have ours. Yes, there are many, many times where we wished we were not in band, but there are the days where it’s not half bad. At the end of the day, we got a pretty sick t-shirt.