Prospect’s symphonic band plays at Superstate

By Tim Angerame

Entertainment Editor

Prospect’s symphonic band went to the Superstate Concert Band Festival in Champaign.  Invitations to play at Superstate are very exclusive and given only to exceptional bands.
“The honor is being accepted, even,” said Director Chris Barnum in his opening statement at the preview show on May 7. “It’s very difficult to get in.” In order to be eligible for Superstate, a band must submit an audition tape to be observed by a panel of judges. This marks the fourteenth time that Prospect’s concert band has made it to Superstate.
The members of symphonic  band were very excited about this prestigious honor.

“I feel great,” tenor saxophone player senior Sean Phelps said. “I contributed as much of my part as three fourths of the chairs,” said Phelps. “Every part is equally important as each other.” Before leaving, Phelps said that the band will do well at Superstate because of the excitement and adrenaline that they will have about being there.

Senior clarinet player Patrick Hamilton was excited because this was the first time he made Superstate, something he calls “a pretty cool experience.” Hamilton attributes the band’s success to Barnum’s choice of pieces this year, including the songs “Scenes from the Louvre” and “Wild Nights.”
Barnum said that even though this was his second time leading the band to superstate, his first time being in 2007, it was still an honor for him.
“No matter how many times you go, be it 10 or 20 times, it’s a big deal,” said Barnum. “[The kids] work hard. They work hard at individual parts. They work hard at sections. Hard work got them there.”
Barnum also said that for the seniors, who have never been to superstate, that this was a great way for them to end senior year.
After playing at Superstate, the band listened to the other high school bands who were accepted, and the University of Illinois wind symphony.
“I really enjoyed listening to the Illinois band,” said sophomore Caitlin Claytor.
Junior flute player Julie Winter enjoyed listening to last year’s honor band from Libertyville.
“I really liked it. There were a lot of really good bands there,” said Winter.
Winter was unhappy, however, with how the judges choose the honor band, with methods she described as “unfamiliar”. According to Barnum, judges choose the honor band not by a certain criteria, but by listening to the bands throughout the day and deciding which one was the best based on personal opinion.
“Everything we do helps try to carry on the tradition of band program,” said Barnum. “Concert band is just as good as marching band, and I think that is very important.”