Large snowfall around Springfield causes date change for all-state band auditioning


Flutist practices in RBHS music wing. Photo by Morgan Berk

Brett Stover

Students prepare for their All State Band Auditions, which were rescheduled for the first day of winter break.
Sophomore Matthew Hoeppner prepares for his All State Band Audition, which was rescheduled for the first day of winter break. Photo by Morgan Berk.

In a last-minute decision by the Missouri Bandmasters Association, they postponed All-State Band auditions until Saturday, Dec. 21. Initially scheduled for last Saturday, Dec. 7, inclement weather in southern Missouri prompted the rescheduling. MBA President Linda Huck posted a message on the MBA website on Friday notifying students and directors of the change of date. In order to even be eligible to audition, high school students must first place in the All-District level of auditions.

“The current weather system that is affecting the southern half of our state has created concern among the MBA Board of Directors for the safety of those students traveling to Columbia on Saturday, Dec. 7,” the statement read. “MBA recognizes the hours of preparation that takes place for students to prepare for this important audition. To exclude a large portion of the state from an audition opportunity would not create a fair representation of the very best musicians from our state.”

With between five and 10 inches of snow coating the roadways in much of southern Missouri, travel from schools in the region to Hickman High School, the site of the audition, would have been dangerous and accident-prone. While it benefits those students in southern Missouri, RBHS band members now have to wait an extra two weeks to audition.

Junior trombonist Matt Orf, who was one of many first chair RBHS students in the All-District Band from RBHS, still plans to audition despite the delay. Orf said that while the extra time may help other students, there’s a point in instrumental practice where “it’s hard to get [your audition] any better and it stagnates.”

“I understand why they rescheduled audition dates, but I’m frustrated because I was at the peak of my playing,” Orf said. “I’m nervous my playing [ability] may plateau or go down while other players’ playing [ability] increases.”

RBHS band director Steve Matthews notified students via email last Friday of the change, assuring them that any refunds would be provided if students find themselves unable to audition. While such a rescheduling normally wouldn’t cause much havoc, the new audition date is also the first day of winter break.

“I was practicing heavily two weeks prior to the original date to improve my position [from All-District band.]” sophomore clarinetist Mickey Jamieson said. “When the news broke that the date had been pushed back two weeks, I was somewhat relieved. The only thing I’m worried about is the large amount of time [in which others can practice.] It’s actually more motivating, pushes me to practice my material much more than I would have.”