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The Hornet's Buzz

The multimedia news site of The Hornet's Buzz

The Hornet's Buzz

The multimedia news site of The Hornet's Buzz

The Hornet's Buzz

Two Northtown students play in prestigious festival



Northtown seniors Sam Riley and Corrie Gibson were recently selected to join the prestigious Winter Festival for Winds and Percussion held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Winter Festival, according to the website, “is a unique concert band and chamber ensemble festival for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. The festival is designed to give participants an outstanding and comprehensive playing experience.”

Gibson and Riley, who play clarinet and alto saxophone respectively, sent recorded auditions in during November and recently heard the news.

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In the group of 64 high school students, they are the only students selected from the state of Missouri.

“I was surprised because kids from all over auditioned,” Gibson said. “I wasn’t really expecting to make it.”

Riley added, “I was pumped. To be picked was an honor.”

Carrie Epperson, one of Northtown’s band directors, agreed.

“It’s a very big deal,” she said.

Epperson had words of praise for Riley and Gibson.

“They are very self-motivated, talented, and hardworking.”

Once they got in, the students attended a festival weekend on Jan. 20-22.

While at UNL, they participated in three ensembles: an honor band, a smaller group, and a large symphonic band where they played along with the University Wind Ensemble.

These groups were directed by university music faculty, giving the young musicians a valuable experience.

Gibson enjoys playing the clarinet because “it’s an easier way of expressing things than talking or writing.”

She also enjoys being around the students involved in music.

Riley likes the way the saxophone sounds.

“It has its own distinct feel,” he said.

Both seniors have been playing their instruments since sixth grade. Both also have future plans in the world of music.

Gibson intends to major in music education and eventually become a band director.

“It’d be super fly to be in a military band,” she added.

Riley agreed that he wants to “teach music and play forever.”

UNL held the Festival Finale Concert on Sunday, Jan. 22. All three ensembles performed.

“It was exhilarating,” Riley said.

Gibson added, “I was expecting it to be hardcore and intense, but really it was laid back and relaxed. It was more about us learning stuff than putting on a good show.”

If students are interested in participating next year, they can find application information online at UNL’s website.

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