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On Saturday, Feb. 5, Mount View Middle and High schools participated in the Kennebec Valley Music Educators Association Concert. The junior (middle school) band played at Messalonskee Middle School, the senior (high school) band played at Messalonskee High School, and the senior chorus sang at Waterville High School.

This concert normally occurs annually, but was canceled last year because of COVID. This year it was fortunately able to return, with Mount View’s very own band director, Mr. Venti, volunteering as president to ensure its success. Mr. Venti asked the seventh and eighth band for volunteers to attend the concert. Aden Hargrove, Victor Alefeld, Oden Pontillo, Maeve Lakin and I volunteered and were all accepted. We received the music we would be performing in early January, allowing us about a month to practice before the concert.

Arriving at Messalonskee Middle School in Oakland at about 8:45 a.m., still tired from our early awakening, we descended to the band room where we spent most of the day. The junior band, directed by Lance Schanck, played three pieces: “Light Cavalry Overture,” “In the Shining of the Stars” and “Midnight Escape.”

In a normal band concert, the musicians will practice their music for several months before performing. The KVMEA, however, packed this practice into one day, with five hour-long practice intervals separated by 15 minute breaks, and a half-hour pause for lunch.

One of the best things about the concert is meeting and playing with other musicians, who all have unique talents and skills. After every hour-long session of practice we would retreat to the chorus room and congregate by school to drink water and talk, then return to the band room for another session of playing.

This grueling regimen of practice culminated in a recorded performance, after which we limped, exhausted and sore, to our buses. Though the KVMEA concert was difficult, it was a worthwhile opportunity to venture beyond the usual musical confines of our band room and, along with dozens of others, partake in something new and beautiful.

Notices

The fifth annual Riley’s Wish Winter Games & Derby will take place on Saturday, Feb. 19, starting at 8 a.m. at the Liberty public boat launch. Tickets are $5 per person and $20 for a group of five. Food and drinks will be provided and an ice fishing derby will take place.