'Best of the best' play at Franklin-Fulton County Band Festival

About 1,000 people attend the event at the Greencastle-Antrim High School auditorium

January 22, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER |
  • Brianna Glunt practices a piece on her trombone during the 2011 Franklin-Fulton County Band Festival held Saturday at Greencastle-Antrim High School.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Darlene Caufman and her husband, Ken, arrived more than an hour before Saturday's Franklin-Fulton County Band Festival with the goal of claiming a seat as close to the stage as possible, without actually sitting on stage with her grandsons.

When your grandsons are some of the "best of the best in the county," as Caufman said, you want to have a front row seat.

"We wanted to come because we love band. But, we have grandchildren in it, and that makes it even more special," said Caufman, a Greencastle resident whose grandsons, Hunter Rawlings and Sean Martin, performed in the band.

This year, about 1,000 people attended the festival in the Greencastle-Antrim High School auditorium.

After two days and nearly eight hours of practice, more than 220 student musicians from 10 area school districts, in grades seven to 12, performed at the annual event.

Each school's band director selected students for the band. Trever Famulare was guest conductor for the junior high band and Mark McCoy was guest conductor for the senior high band.

"I think it's a big deal for all the students because they're working with like-minded students — students interested in music. These are the best of the best. These are kids who want to excel," said Eric Plum, Greencastle-Antrim Middle School band director.

Ryan McClure, 18, a Chambersburg Area Senior High School senior, has participated in the band for five years.

"You are used to constantly being in your group and your band. That's all you ever hear, but with county you get to hear how other people sound. It's just an opportunity to be under a different director and see how other people interpret music," said McClure, who plays the bassoon and plans to major in music education at Shepherd University.

"I'm glad I'm here because this is the opportunity for all the schools around the district to send the best players from their group to combine their talents to create the best music possible for this area," said Griffin Harbach, 17, a CASHS senior.

Lisa Wenschhof of McConnellsburg, Pa., said performing in the festival is an invaluable experience for her daughter, Emily.

Emily plays the trumpet in the McConnellsburg band, which, with about 30 musicians, is small compared to other area district bands.

"It gives her a chance to perform with other students and other conductors. I think it's just a good way for them to practice their music skills," Wenschhof said.

Greencastle-Antrim High School band director Sam Forney wants the quality of music to be top-notch, but he said the experience is not solely about the end product.

"It's not always about the performance. It's also about the education. We work toward the performance, but these students also received a lot of different tips from these conductors," Forney said.

Students from the following schools participated in the concert: Chambersburg Area Senior High School, J. Frank Faust Junior High School, Corpus Christi School, Fannett-Metal High School, Forbes Road Junior/Senior High School, Greencastle-Antrim Middle and High Schools, James Buchanan Middle and High Schools, McConnellsburg Middle and High Schools, Mercersburg Academy, Southern Fulton Junior and Senior High School, and Waynesboro Area Middle and High Schools.

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