Chair Auditions: How do Students Feel?


Malia Weber

As auditions approach, practice rooms become a hot commodity.

“I’m stressed.”

“It feels like the world is going to fall over.”

“I just think Mr. Leach might be disappointed.”

Chair auditions for the Pioneer Band have been taking place in recent weeks, and students are nervous — five minutes of playing will determine their seat in band for the next three months.

For junior Heeryun Kim, who plays the flute in Pioneer’s Concert Band Purple, it’s easily the most stressful event of her November.

“I just don’t feel prepared enough,” Kim said. “No matter how long I practice, there’s always something to be fixed.”

Despite the heightened nerves, a sense of camaraderie maintains itself in the student body. Sections are helping each other practice, giving criticisms and compliments so each musician has a better chance of success. Wednesday, Nov. 9, sophomore Ian Chung, a flutist in Symphony Band, spent his afternoon in practice rooms with members of lower bands, providing suggestions on how to improve their performance.

With the last audition Friday, Nov. 18, and results posted the following Tuesday, there’s a feeling of half-relief among the musicians.

“I’m glad it’s over, but it’s also not over — it’s not going to be over until I know how I did,” said Risheeka Chande, a sophomore and flute player in Concert Band White.

Nobody’s ideal result is the same. It ranges from bottom to top. Elijah Makman-Levinson, a freshman clarinetist in Concert Band Purple, would be happy with any chair above last. Sophomore Ashton Maddock, a Concert Band Purple trumpet player, has his sights set on first.

“[Being first chair] would be epic. I was close at band camp, so I have a chance,” said Maddock.