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Fair Grove Band Sends Two Students to District Concert Auditions

Bailey+Steele%2C+Natalie+Palomo%2C+Mitch+Van+Cleave+pose+together
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Fair Grove Band Sends Two Students to District Concert Auditions

Bailey Steele, Natalie Palomo, Mitch Van Cleave pose together

Bailey Steele, Natalie Palomo, Mitch Van Cleave pose together

Bailey Steele, Natalie Palomo, Mitch Van Cleave pose together

Bailey Steele, Natalie Palomo, Mitch Van Cleave pose together

Dory Baker

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This year the Fair Grove Band sent two students to audition to be in the district concert band, Mitch Van Cleave (10) and Bailey Steele (12). The first two chairs from each instrument moves on to perform with the district concert band in January and qualify to audition for all-state honor band. Mitch got second chair in percussion and Bailey got third chair as a flute. Natalie Palomo, the Fair Grove Band director, commented “Bailey and Mitch stand out in band by pushing themselves to go above and beyond what is expected of the average band student.”

Mitch had to learn material for the snare drum, mallet percussion, and auxiliary percussion. He competed against 50 other percussionists from other schools who performed the same material for a judge. Mitch is only a sophomore and Mitch is the first Fair Grove band member to audition for All-State Band in the last 40 years. His audition is on December 1st in Columbia. All-state auditions will be an all day process so he will know how he did that night. Mitch only gets about three and a half weeks to prepare for state “I’ve been practicing almost every day, as the music is very difficult.” Palomo believes Mitch has a really good shot “His technique on the various instruments has improved greatly through this process, so even if he doesn’t make all state band, he’s grown so much as a musician which is really what’s important.”

Bailey got third chair meaning she was only one away from qualifying to audition for all-state. Although in auditions she only had to play two or three scales, she had to learn eight scales on flute that they provided for districts. Bailey was selected to play for the SBU Band Day concert. For SBU they select students mostly from around the state to make up the band. Bailey was one of eleven flutes and the only student from Fair Grove to perform out of the 102 student band. Bailey is a senior and has been playing flute for eight years now. This is her last year playing for Fair Grove but she is going to continue playing, she said, “I am planning on playing flute in college and majoring in musical education.”

All of this hard work was on Bailey and Mitch’s free time. They still had to maintain their responsibilities to the band as Lebanon and Fair Grove’s Christmas parades approached along with the band’s Christmas concert. The Fair Grove band’s Christmas concert is on Monday, December 17th at 7:00.

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