Two local middle school students were chosen to participate in this year’s All City Middle School Honor Band. Seventh graders, Kaitlyn McDonald and Rachel Chio earned a place in the prestigious band, an honor that has only been bestowed to six White Sands students in the past thirteen years.
“Having two students make it in one year is a big deal,” said White Sands School Music Instructor Autumn Haeker.
McDonald, who plays the flute, placed ninth chair and Chio, who plays the trumpet placed sixth chair. The audition process consists of playing a number of scales, and sight read, where the individual must play a sheet of music he or she has never seen before. Haeker said the two girls were the only students who wished to audition for a chance to be in the band. McDonald said she wanted to audition as a way to test her skills and Chio said she thought being a part of the event would be fun.
Their role in the band means week long practices with a New Mexico State University Music Instructor. The practices are two and a half hours long from Monday through Thursday. A final concert was held this past Sunder at the Atkinson Hall.
The two only have two years of experience, having begun playing their instruments when they started the fifth grade. McDonald aspires to be a part of an orchestra when she grows up because her dad told her there’s nothing more powerful than a full orchestra. Chio wants to be a doctor or a nurse when she grows up, she’s not sure, but she said she will play the trumpet on the side.