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The Falconer

The Student News Site of Fauquier High School

The Falconer

The Student News Site of Fauquier High School

The Falconer

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Tri-County Band Still a Success Nearly 30 Years Later

FHS+band+students+gather+with+band+members+from+Rappahannock+and+Culpeper+County+schools+at+Eastern+View+High+School+to+practice+pieces+for+their+public+concert.
Provided by Caleb Crane
FHS band students gather with band members from Rappahannock and Culpeper County schools at Eastern View High School to practice pieces for their public concert.

A hush falls over the assembled crowd as the lights of the auditorium dim. The silence is supplanted by tones of brass, wood and the thumps of drums, merging into a harmony filling the ears of listeners from the hearts of the performers. The ensemble made of three counties brought together for one purpose: making music.

Tri-County band is a two-day event where band members of Fauquier, Rappahannock and Culpeper county high schools perform a concert for the public. The program was created nearly 30 years ago in the 1998-1999 school year by the Liberty Band director and Fauquier High School’s own director, Andrew Paul. According to Paul, “Tri-County band’s purpose is to offer kids an opportunity to participate in a District Band-like event for students that have not been able to audition at all or did not pass audition for District Band…”

Around 15 members of the FHS band have been selected to go, one of whom is senior Andrew Homenik, band Percussionist. In an interview, Homenik boiled down the selection process: “Here at Fauquier, at least with Mr. Paul, he pretty much just asks who wants to do it and then if he thinks you’re good enough, [you’ll be considered].” A player is further vetted through one of the other band directors based on their number of years of experience and scores at District Band auditions if applicable.

After being selected, applicants continue to hone their skills until the event is slated to happen. This year it took place on Jan. 26 and 27 at Eastern View High School in Culpeper. Senior Clarinet player Dean Rose recounts his experiences in previous years, saying, “We’re probably gonna play between three and five [songs], last year we did five.” However, there’s a catch, two actually. The kids don’t know what they are playing or who is going to be there (other counties’ band members AND the conductor) until the day of the event. Andrew Paul explains that this is a more realistic experience in the world of professional music. “…instead of having weeks to prepare, it’s ‘lets go get it done, we’re doing this tomorrow’,” said Paul. These conditions help improve a musician’s sight reading, a valuable skill to musicians as it symbolizes their familiarity with their instrument, deft understanding of sheet music and ability to collaborate with strangers.

Tri-County band is a chance for students to gain experience in crucial skills in the world of professional music. Even if participants don’t pursue the profession, the skills are useful for recreation and hobbyists. So, as the audience roars in applause and the curtains begin to swallow the stage, the participants bow knowing that wherever they end up, whatever profession, they have gained something valuable. As Paul said, “It’s a very worthwhile endeavor.”

The concert at the end of Tri-County band events is open to everybody. This year’s event was held at 3 PM, Jan. 27 at Eastern View High School.

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Thanks for reading The Falconer. We're happy to provide you with award-winning student journalism since 1963, free from bias, conflicts of interest, and paywalls. We're able to continue with the generous support of our local community. If you're able, please consider making a donation. Any amount is incredibly helpful and allows us to pursue new and exciting opportunities.

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About the Contributor
Rahath Miah, Staff
The name’s Rahath Miah. I am a senior at FHS and this is my first year as a staff member for the newspaper. I try to stay busy at all times. Whether it be writing, drawing, yard work, home renovation, or messing with computers and software, I’ll do it all!
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