Loesch participates in All State band

This article submitted by Erin Aagesen on 3/1/00.

Loesch Senior alto saxophone player Kelly Loesch had an opportunity to participate in the All-State program this past year. Loesch tried out last March for the exclusive group, and was one of only 400 high school musicians participating state-wide.

Through her participation in All-State, Loesch attended a week-long camp in early August and played at Orchestra Hall in October for the Minnesota teacher's conference MMEA.

Loesch was first asked to try out for the group by her band instructor, Bryan Mara. At the time, she didn't know much about the group but decided to try out anyway. "Music is my love," she said. "I've always wanted to be a professional musician."

"I was very nervous for the audition. I thought I would have to try out in front of a lot of people," she explained. "It turns out, I only had to audition in front of one man."

For the audition, she had to play scales, a prepared solo, and had to sight read a piece they gave to her at the audition. Loesch was one of 2,500 students trying out for the band, and was one of only seven alto saxophone players that actually made the band.

Loesch found out that she had made it when Mara announced it to the crowd at last spring's theme concert.

In August she attended the week long camp at St. Cloud State with the other participants. There, she attended section-als and had to try out for chair place-ment. Loesch was fourth chair out of seven players.

At the sectionals, they were taught technical things. "It was frustrating at first," she admitted. "The music was challenging, and some of the others had already played it and I never had. We had to learn the music in only a couple of days."

In addition, full band rehearsal was held. They practiced the pieces they would be playing later in the fall. "We played all day long," she said. "Our lips got so sore no one wanted to practice in our dorm rooms."

Time was also given for social activities. A mini concert was presented by performers from the Twin Cities, and talent show was held for anyone who wanted to perform.

Everyone wore name tags, and, according to Loesch, they were friendly towards each other. "It was neat to talk to the others because everyone was interested in music," she said. "I got a lot of information on colleges this way."

On Oct. 18 and 19, the group reunited to rehearse and perform for the MMEA. On the first day and the start of the second day, they went to the University of Minnesota campus to rehearse. On the evening of Oct. 19, they performed together for the final time.

"Through All-State, I've learned a lot of things about the realistic end of music," she said. "It takes a lot of hard work to be good, and the field is very competitive."

Loesch plans to attend the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks next fall to major either in music performance or music therapy.

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