The Ohio Music Education Association’s district contest (OMEAs) last weekend provided challenge, education, and success for Gahanna students.
Eight musical groups from Gahanna, including all four bands and all four choirs, qualified for the state OMEA contest, and will be competing this May. Districts are, according to multiple students, taken seriously, and as a result, help students grow as musicians and team players.
“[The] general atmosphere of the day is definitely a serious tone...after the performance it feels like you have a weight lifted,” Elliot Marks, a sophomore and member of Silver Band said.
This pressure is not without reason. The time constraint between winter break and OMEAs is “one of the main difficulties. We have only so long to master three pieces of music completely with every detail possible,” Claire Schuler said. Schuler is a sophomore, as well as a member of both Gold Band and a capella choir. Schuler said another main challenge of preparation is the performance aspect of competition. Practice in class can only do so much to prepare students for a different performance space with different acoustics.
However, due to the idea of teamwork encouraged by Gahanna music teachers, students do not have to face this challenge alone.
“If you can play your part individually, but not with the group, then there’s almost no point,” Schuler said. Marks agreed, and said that “music is all about blending the different parts” to create balance and nuance in a sound.
All bands and choirs received overall 1s from the judges, the highest rankings, meaning that the students having conquered their nerves and succeeded as a team.
“I felt pride in what we accomplished and like I was part of a successful group and community that is working hard to achieve greatness,” Ethan McComb, a junior and member of Silver Band said.