BEAVERCREEK — Three Beavercreek High School students were selected to perform in one of the premier music events this weekend.
And they’re among the best of the best.
Caylie Vaubel, Bianca Neale and Zach Reich are part of the performing ensembles at the 2019 Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference in Cleveland. Vaubel is first chair clarinet, while Neale is third chair french horn in the all-star band. Reich, part of the all-state jazz ensemble, is the lone piano player.
The trio auditioned last May and although they have known they were part of the ensembles for some time, Vaubel and Neale didn’t find out their chair placement until a month or so ago. Vaubel — a senior — was sixth chair as a sophomore and wasn’t selected for the band last year.
“I was hoping for first chair. I was happy, it’s my senior year,” she said. “It’s nice to move up and finally get to be first for my senior year. It can’t get any better than that. Getting first overall … is really an honor.”
There are 15-20 in the clarinet section, and a lot more than that auditioned.
Neale, also a senior, has actually been an alternate the last few years. She was “super hyped” when she was selected outright this time. She will be third chair.
“Just finding out, being like ‘Oh, I actually got in this time,” she said. “Out of six (chairs), that’s kind of cool.”
Despite being a “little bit” disappointed over not being first chair, she plans on performing at her very best.
“I want them to know that I can be better than them,” Neale said of the musicians occupying the first two chairs.
The suspense wasn’t as great for Reich, who as the only piano player didn’t have to wonder what “chair placement” awaited him. Still, he was somewhat caught off guard when he learned of his selection.
“I was a little surprised,” he said. “I just sort of assumed that there were other people that had been doing it.”
Band Director Matt Frost likened their selections to winning a state championship or finishing third in the state in a given sport.
“They don’t get the credit they need,” he said.
Vaubel and Reich will get some added attention as they are featured prominently in their shows.
“I have a lot of very exposed parts,” Vaubel said. “I’m really hoping to push myself as a player.”
It’s nothing new to Reich, who isn’t concerned about being singled out.
“I’m sort of used to that, having that sole role,” he said. “I just try to treat everything like someone’s watching me or paying attention to what I’m playing.”
The event itself is considered one of the top three in the country, Frost said. Around 10,000 music teachers attend and the bands perform in front of several thousand.
Paula Crider, professor emerita at the University of Texas, is the guest conductor of the all-star band, while Michael Philip Mossman, professor and director of jazz studies at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York, is the guest conductor of the jazz band.
The all-state band performs 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1. The jazz band performs Saturday, Feb. 2 afternoon.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.