Poland represents at OMEA Honors Band

Sofie Myers, Co-Editor

Four students were selected to represent the PSHS Band last week!

Poland Seminary High School has an incredibly exceptional band, and some of its members had the opportunity to be selected for a higher band, OMEA Honors Band, last week.

Four students were selected to represent the Poland Band at the OMEA Honors Band Event. These students were: Troy Vargo, Senior; Avery Doctor and Colin McDonald, Juniors; and Lydia Noble, Sophomore. 

Their band director, Mr. Hvizdos, was very pleased that Poland was able to qualify for the event and exhibit a good representation of the band. 

Hvizdos explains a little bit more about what exactly the OMEA event is: “ OMEA stands for Ohio Music Education Association, and they’re the governing association that oversees all musical activities in the state of Ohio, both public school and collegiate. They offer assistance, they provide in service extended learning for directors, and all kinds of resources. They have an honors band in our district; there are several districts in the state.” 

Since the event was a larger scale event than the regular band, there had to be a selection process.  

“The students have to select a video audition. They record themselves playing the audition piece. The audition music is provided for them about a month before they have to submit it,” Hvizdos states. 

Senior, Troy Vargo said, “I play the Tuba.  I had to do an audition. It had various different notes involving eighth notes, quarter notes, and some tricky rhythms too.” 

For sophomore Lydia Noble, there was no question of whether or not she would be selected. 

Noble said, “I play the Bassoon. You have to send in a video audition-and nobody in the area plays the bassoon, so there’s spots open for that because they need people. So there’s more spots open for it, so it’s easier for me to get in.”

Playing the oboe, Doctor said, “Mr Hvizdos suggested it for us and a couple of other people, and then we had to send in an audition, playing skills, and then a piece.”

McDonald said, “ I play the alto Saxophone.  I had to audition, and then, I waited a couple weeks to see, and they just told me what happened.”

Once the students were selected, they were able to leave school Thursday and Friday to go to the various practice locations. 

“We went to YSU for two days on a Friday and Saturday, and on Thursday, we went to Liberty,” states Troy Vargo. 

The actual performance was on Saturday at Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown. 

“We all got together. We got the music about a week beforehand, and we were told to practice it, and then on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we had five+ hours of practice to put it all together; it was really long,” said Doctor. 

Overall, there were about 88 members in the High School OMEA Honors Band, and a little over 100 members in the middle school one. 

Mr. Hvizdos states that it was a very good concert. The students are in agreement, and they also had a great time enjoying the experience. 

Doctor said, “It was nice to play with a lot of pretty advanced players for high school. It was a lot of fun, and I think I got to be a better player because of it and got to meet a lot of fun people.”

“It went pretty good; it was fun. My dad thought it was AMAZING! So, it was pretty good,” McDonald agrees. 

The underclassmen that attended Honors Band this year have more opportunities to apply for future years to represent Poland, but for Vargo, this was his last high school honors band event. 

“Everything was so majestic. I wish I could do it again, but sadly, I can’t,” Vargo reflects. 

Sophomore Lydia Noble said that anyone who is on the fence about applying for Honors Band definitely should try it. 

“It went really well! All of our pieces were amazing and just really fun. I made some new friends. It’s cool talking to band kids from other schools,” Noble says.  

Mr. Hvizdos finalizes with his pride in the band members that were able to attend OMEA Honors Band to represent the PSHS Band. 

Mr. Hvizdos said, “We’re just really proud that we continue to have a high standard of musical excellence here at Poland.”