Wind Ensemble qualifies for Superstate

University of Illinois performance on May 6

Elin O'Brien, Reporter

All coming down to the one performance that accounts for hours and hours of practice, Wind Ensemble prepared all year for Superstate. Every year, it’s Wind Ensemble’s goal to make it down to the University of Illinois to perform. 

Being first selected in 2014, this will be LT’s seventh appearance at Superstate, director Mark Dahl said.

“There’s nothing really similar to this that we do, other than our usual concerts in the Reber Center,” said Audrey Schissler ‘23. “That’s why it’s such a unique opportunity to get to be a part of a band that goes to Superstate.”

In February, all bands are welcomed to submit recordings to a panel of directors and the qualified schools are invited back to perform at Superstate, Dahl said. In LT’s group that they are performing in there are a total of six schools that were selected.

“There is a winner for each class, but we see it more as a festival,” Piper Murray ‘24 said. “We care more about hearing other bands because it’s helpful for us to hear other bands to help us improve on our playing”

Aside from their daily rehearsals, they have added additional rehearsals outside of the school day and on the weekends to further help us prepare, Dahl said. 

“As soon as we hear that we have qualified for Superstate, we get clinicians to come and help us on what we can work on,” Murray said. “When they come in they give us a new set of ears and help us think critically and hold ourselves to our highest standards because we’re now going against the best of the best in Illinois.”

At the festival, each band performs and the panel of directors listen to all the groups and choose the most outstanding band in each class, Dahl said.

“While it is a competition, all of the bands receive feedback, in addition being able to perform in the great hall in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts,” Dahl said. “The panel’s feedback makes this a very educational experience for students.”

Wind Ensemble spends all of their rehearsal time throughout the year with the goal of making it to Superstate, and it means their directors end up giving them a lot of tough love, Schissler said.

“For those that aren’t doing band after high school it’s a pleasant send off,” Murray said. “Meanwhile for those planning to continue playing after high school, it’s their first opportunity to be at the college level.”