By Adam Ilenich
Meridian Times Staff Writer
HASLETT – Despite the snowy weather, on Jan. 29, band students from East Lansing High School, Haslett High School, and Okemos High School congregated at Haslett High School and performed the 30th Annual Tri-District Band Concert.
David Gott, band director at Haslett High School, said there is no other event like it in the state.
“It’s three districts that have been doing it for 30 years of combined music performance. It’s good for our kids to get together and actually hear other fine groups play. So often, we live our lives in bubbles where we’re just in the fine arts area where we play for ourselves and our parents. This is an actual share between other communities of fine arts,” Gott said.
This event renews a sense of community every year throughout the districts by involving the students, parents and faculty from all three high schools in the event. The students, in particular, must work extremely hard during the combined rehearsal to perfect all of the musical elements in the pieces that are played as a tri-district ensemble.
Pieces from this year’s concert included “Overture to“Candide,” “The Sinfonians” and the “1812 Overture.”
Chester Czubko, an 18-year-old student at East Lansing High School who plays saxophone, played in the concert and really enjoyed himself.
“It’s really fun because you get to hear other people, other than the people that you hear every day. You get a wider range of skill levels – you get people who play really well, people who are at your level, and then people who are a little below you but still sound really good. It’s nice to get that variety,” Czubko said.
Gott recognizes the value of the annual concert but stresses the importance of keeping music alive in schools.
“I was just talking to our group a moment ago about another school district that lost their fine arts program entirely, so we’re so thankful that we have this and the kids certainly know how important this is,” Gott said.