The only two high school bands selected to perform at this year for the Iowa Bandmasters Associations (IBA) conference, Lisbon and Cedar Rapids Washington, held a free preview concert on May 11th at the Washington Auditorium. Both schools selection is a culmination of months of individual and group preparation, recording of audition tapes, waiting for selection results and, most recently, weeks of intensive practice. Lisbon performs Thursday night, 13 May, at the IBA conference in Des Moines, followed by Washington on Friday night.
Lisbon played 8 songs in their set, with each song being introduced by one of their band members. They amazed the crowd with the expression they put into the music, showing quite clearly why they and they alone will represent the 1A class high schools of Iowa.
Roger DeYoung, Director of the Lisbon Band, noted this accomplishment is believed to be a first for Lisbon and is his first such selection in 38 years of teaching music. Mr. DeYoung will have little time to rest with Middle School performances next week, preparing the band for the Lisbon graduation concert and marching in the Lisbon Memorial Day parade. When asked to describe his favorite part of the entire IBA process, DeYoung admitted, I hope I havent had it yet!
Kate McKone, alto saxophone, said how she was excited to end her senior year strongly.
Mitchell Stevens, percussion, only in band for two years, It has been a great experience to join band and have all these great things happen.
Washington took the stage for the second half of the preview concert, also performing 8 songs. While Washingtons two band directors, Jim Miller and Steve Shanley, conducted 6 of the songs, Robert Manson and Earle Dickinson conducted the remaining two songs.
Washington used the benefit of their size and depth to provide an innovative performance, including a brass and percussion only piece to start their set. Wash also performed a highly entertaining version of Blackbird (Beatles) that included some incredible piano work by Jon Snell, and great rhythm work by Ian Draves on bass and Michael Olson on drum set. Washs final song, Redline Tango, featured Madeline Young on soprano sax. As with Lisbon, Washington showed the crowd some very elite skills.
Of the opportunity to perform at IBA, Kate Ernst, clarinet, said, I think its really great. We have a lot of great players and it will be a lot different next year.
Toby Ziemer, trombone, noted, The interesting thing about IBA is that you can only audition every 3 years, so when you have the chance to do this, its really a big deal. Below are 3 audio clips from Washingtons performance.
Events and updates on all Washington High School performing arts are available at their website.