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Record number of musicians make CODA honors

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Record number of musicians make CODA honors

Band players practice extensively in preparation for CODA.

Band players practice extensively in preparation for CODA.

Leah Franklin

Band players practice extensively in preparation for CODA.

Leah Franklin

Leah Franklin

Band players practice extensively in preparation for CODA.

Rachel Dallalio, Memorial Staff Writer

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The desire for achievement continues to grow in Memorial as the fine arts program take the stage in state and regional competitions. For band, the Central Oklahoma Directors Association (CODA) All-Region Band is a tremendous honor to make so it becomes a bigger deal for the middle schoolers who auditioned in the seventh and eighth grade.

At the CODA concert Jan. 12 were a record number of 33 students from Memorial’s feeder schools Central Middle School and Cimarron Middle School. The future for the Big Bad Bulldog Band is bright with these talented players adding to the program in the future.

“I realized that they loved band already and they practice a lot and they’re better than I thought that they would be.” said Cimarron band director Marcus Shields. “I realized these kids need a challenge, and CODA is the perfect way to do that.”

High school has new challenges that the process of CODA auditions prepare middle schoolers for and the middle school band directors advocate for this in their everyday band class. Seventh grade French horn player Simon Hollrah made the seventh grade CODA band as first chair player.

“You have to be able to not be nervous about the little things, but you also have to practice really hard and have your music ready in time,” Hollrah said.

Music gives people a different sense of artistry in their lifestyle which seventh grade Central oboe player Libby Snyder exemplified that when she also made the seventh grade CODA band.

“It taught me that I don’t always have to be the best at everything because I struggled on some of the songs,” Snyder said. “It helped to become better and accept that I am not perfect at everything.”

A different experience comes from the extensive audition process. The students work on difficult music starting from the start of summer until the auditions held in the beginning of November. There, they will go through a blind audition and, depending on the instrument, will have to through more than one round of auditions.

“Being able to prepare harder music helped my work ethic because it does take a lot of work to prepare something like that and it’s super fun to meet other people who do the same thing I do.” Hollrah said.

The judges take everything into account while the student is playing to keep an unbiased stance on the auditioner. All that matters is their skill and work ethic as the extent to which the students prepared their music can easily be noticed by the judges during the audition.

“I think it’s a good segway into high school music because most of the rhythms you will see in those tryouts are ones that they will see in the high school setting,” said Central Middle School director Mikela Connella.

Many students go into band wanting to have music as a career and CODA is a new form of providing ground for these young band students to build their future.

“It’s a more advanced version to see what it would be like to play in a professional setting.” Snyder said.

CODA is a stepping stone for things like All-State Band or other fine arts tryouts, and adapting the younger students for other events outside of the band scene will really help them thrive in whatever their futures hold for them.

Contact writer Rachel Dallalio at [email protected]

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Rachel Dallalio, Memorial Staff Writer

Hey! I’m Rachel Dallalio, I am a senior at Edmond Memorial High School and I am also a first staff member for the Ruff Draft. I like be involved in my...

Leah Franklin, Memorial Photographer

Hi, my name is Leah Franklin. I am a junior in high school and have been on staff for a year and a half. Throughout my time on newspaper I have learned...

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