Tri-State Honors Band


Saya Kangas

South Shore High School band director Nicole Kavajecz poses with Tri-State Honors Band participants Lizzy Kobie and Signe Branham.

Signe Branham, Editor-in-Chief

On Thursday, October 19th, junior Elizabeth Kobie, and senior Signe Branham had the opportunity to represent the South Shore High School Band at Tri-State Honors Band at UW-Superior.  Tri-State is an event that brings together talented members from high school bands in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.  Those selected are separated into two bands, Black and Gold.  Both bands learn three music pieces to be performed later that day.

Both Lizzy and Signe were members of the Black band this year.  They performed three pieces: “Circle in a Square” by Ed Kiefer, “Chips and Salsa” by Ed Kiefer, and “An Everlasting Legacy” by Bruce W. Tippette.  Lizzy Kobie, who plays the baritone, was chosen to play at Tri-State. “My favorite piece was ‘Circle in a Square’.  I liked it because of the story behind it and because it sounded really cool when it was all put together.”  The day started with check-in at 8:00 a.m.  The Black band was taken to the Thorpe Langley Auditorium, where they spent the morning working with the guest conductor, Ed Kiefer.  Signe Branham states, “Ed Kiefer was a lot of fun to work with.  He definitely pushed us hard, but he made it really fun.”  After a short break at 10:30 a.m., the band had the opportunity to work with Dr. Pamela Bustos, the Director of Bands and Instrumental Music Education at UW-Superior.   A break was then taken for lunch.  Following lunch were the master classes.  The students were given the chance to work with some of the students and staff at UWS that specialized in their instruments.  Second-time participant Signe Branham states, “I really enjoy the master classes.  The people there are all so talented.  They really do a good job in making the time exciting.”  Once the master classes are done, it’s back to practice.  This time the Black band was in a practice room in the Holden Performing Arts Center.  Each conductor spent more time going over their pieces with the band.  After a break for dinner and photos, the bands finally got the chance to perform.

The concert started at 7:15 p.m.  The UW-Superior Symphonic Band went first with the pieces: “Sensus Vitae” by Nathan Daughtry, “Rain and Snow on the Cedar Cliffs” by Ed Kiefer, and “Amazing Grace” arranged by Zoe Noelle Scherer.  Then the Tri-State Honors Percussion performed two pieces of their own.  Gold band was up next.  They performed the pieces, “Let Thy Spirit” by Pavel Tschesnokoff, arranged by Gary Gackstatter, “Hot Cha Cha” by Murray Houllif, and “Hammer of the Gods” by Ed Kiefer.  Finally, the Black band had their chance to perform their pieces.

With the day finally done, the students were left exhausted.  Signe Branham stated, “It’s very draining.  You play all day, which takes a lot of air and really tires you out.  It’s worth it, though.  The whole experience is a fun one.”  When asked if she would go again, Lizzy Kobie responded, “Yes!”