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Trumpet Player Emily Schmidt Makes State Band and Looks Forward to the State Band Concert on Jan. 29


Credit to Sadie Cotton

The FHN band program is under the direction of Ryan Curtis and allows students with an interest in playing to join a class. Throughout the year the band holds performances allowing an audience to hear what they’ve been working on.

After playing two rounds of auditions and one round of callbacks, senior Emily Schmidt has been selected for the Missouri State Band. Schmidt is the eighth chair trumpet player for the band. 

“[My auditions] went really smoothly,” Schmidt said. “The room monitors were super helpful”

Last year, Schmidt received an Honorable Mention when auditioning for state band; she made it through both rounds of auditions and into callbacks. Schmidt is excited for the opportunity to actually participate in the band this year.

“I’m excited to go down to the Lake of the Ozarks and perform a lot of great pieces with them,” Schmidt said.

The state band concert is on Sunday, Jan. 29 at the Lake of the Ozarks. Rehearsals start on Wednesday, Jan. 25. 

“We’ll go down there for four days,” Schmidt said. “We’ll rehearse pretty much every day.”

Trombone player Amelia Chruma also auditioned for state band, making it all the way to callbacks. Chruma recalls the audition process:

“You show up in the morning and sign up for a time slot, then you keep track of when you’re supposed to go,” Chruma said. “You audition in a classroom, and it’s a blind audition so the three judges’ backs are turned to you.”

In the audition, students are asked to play 10 to 15 measure excerpts of material that they have prepared ahead of time. 

“The material is from various books depending on your instrument,” Chruma said. “It’s a bunch of technical exercises, which is mostly what they’re testing you on, and then they pull from a book of etudes [short musical compositions] for a slow piece that can accentuate things like dynamics [volume changes] and tone [sound quality].”

Several hundred students from across Missouri audition for state band every year, and only a select few actually make the band. For example, of approximately 150 trombone players that auditioned this year, only 14 made the band. Still, Schmidt encourages other Missouri high school musicians to audition for the band.

“If you’re on the border about trying out, just do it, because you might make it and it’ll be really fun,” Schmidt said.