of the Sentinel Konah
In 2019, our Sentinel High Band will be playing at Carnegie Hall. This was not an easy honor to receive, the band had been practicing hours upon hours for the opportunity to play at this venue.
“They only accept six bands nationwide. I put an audition recording in and they accepted us,” teacher Lewis Nelson said.
The band will be playing in a concert band festival in New York City. The crew flies off to the Big Apple in March of 2019. “Of course Carnegie Hall is Carnegie Hall, it’s probably one of the top three places you can play in the world as far as acoustics and the experience as a whole. What a great experience for the students who get to go on the trip,” said Nelson.
Nelson believes this will only make the band stronger.
“The band is growing. Last year we had about 67 kids and this year we have over 120. My hope is the retention will stay up and we will continue growing as a program,” he said.
Much preparation is needed for the concert. There will be countless hours put in by each member going in order for the band to play at their top ability.
“We will, as far as the music goes, start next fall. We will rehearse once a week outside of the school day and probably a Sunday night,” said Nelson.
Nelson knows a lot of hard work will be going into this trip, but knows his band will take the extra step. “The kids are going to step up, no worries. We will have to rehearse a quite a bit more than we are used to because the music is going to be harder and expectations for playing a festival like this are very high. We can’t just go in there and do it, you have to do it all the way,” Nelson said.
The band will be getting the most that they can out of the trip. They have sightseeing planned to go to Times Square, Central Park and several other famous New York attractions.
“We might do a shared concert or two. I have some friends that teach out there too, maybe do a combined concert with them. We are also talking to (choir teacher Jessica) Franks about bringing a small choir ensemble. We are thinking about what we can do for Sentinel and representing Montana,” said Nelson.
Nelson and his band are ecstatic for this once in a lifetime opportunity to play in New York.