Students audition, await results for ILMEA state festival


By Grace Givan, executive entertainment editor 
Students from across the Prospect music department are awaiting results from the Illinois Music Educators Association to see if they were selected to perform in the all-state ILMEA Festival in Peoria, Illinois. Prior to this, there was a district festival that happened on Nov. 11 and Nov.18.
Results will be in for the all-state festival in December; however, first chair tuba in the district festival Orchestra, junior Evan DeRicco, is not anxious since he has participated in this for the past two years, and he has even made it to this state-level last year.
“I’m hopeful,” DeRicco said. “I’m not super nervous about it because if I don’t make it I’ll just move on and try harder next year. But I felt more confident about it this year than last year, so I’m hopeful.”
The way that the selection process works is the top students from each high school in the nine districts in Illinois audition at Stevenson High School. This audition determines if these students get a chance to play at their respective district festivals and/or the all-state festival in Peoria.
“For kids who have been really preparing, which a lot of kids do, it’s pretty intense because you have that one audition that decides if you made the district and if you go to all-state,” Band Director Chris Barnum said.
DeRicco has gone through extensive preparing to get ready for his audition. According to DeRicco, most musicians start practicing their music at the beginning of the summer for the audition in early October, but he began in early spring.
“This is a pretty cool thing for those students that work particularly hard and put in the time so get some individual recognition now and then,” Barnum said. “A lot of this is that they put in the work, they put in the time. They practice consistently and regularly, and that’s on top of everything else they have going on … academically.”
While many things in the music departments are team-efforts, this solo hard work has a chance to show itself with this festival, according to Barnum.  
“I think [students getting into these festivals] is wonderful,” Barnum said. “As a musician, a lot of things you do are about the ensemble and the group, but every now and then there is a chance to recognize individuals, also. This is one of those opportunities where the district, the state, and the school recognizes this as a really high honor.”