***The following is a student written article by Emma Hibdon for the Blue Springs High School student newspaper, the BSHS Campus Crier.  You can read the Campus Crier by clicking here.***


This past weekend, the BSHS Wind Symphony traveled down to the Tan-Tar-A resort in the Lake of the Ozarks for the Missouri Music Educators Association (MMEA) state convention. This wasn’t a run of the mill performance; this invite only concert illustrated the high quality work of the musicians.

“The state convention is a big deal for the directors and musicians in these ensembles. It is such a huge honor to be invited and all the performers really deserve it,” percussion director and assistant band director Nathan Bushey said.

The MMEA hosts a musical festival for all Missouri music educators that features musical ensembles from different schools across the state every year.

“When I think of MMEA, I think of all of the music directors from all around coming to see amazing band, choirs, and orchestras play and to just feel emerged in the music they’re listening to,” junior Thomas Skinker said.

The ability to have an ensemble perform is only granted every four years, with the only exception being All-State ensembles that perform annually

“There are many bands, choirs, and orchestras that are invited to come but [they are] only eligible every four years,” sophomore Taylor Meng said.

The ability to go again is based on that particular ensembles performance and professionalism. Nobody currently attending BSHS will be able to perform with the Wind Symphony band until the year 2022.

“It’s really great to be able to attend an event like this and I can’t wait to go again. I hope everyone enjoyed their time there,” Bushey said.

Wind Symphony members and directors had prepared for months for this one strenuous performance

“I personally practiced a lot and we had lots of outside rehearsal as well as early starts to our first hour band class,” junior Christina Nguyen said.

As the performance approached, rehearsals became longer and harder.

“The week of the concert we had rehearsals almost everyday after school and early starts at 7:15 Tuesdays through Thursdays almost everyday in January,” Meng said.

This experience proved to be rewarding for all who attended.

“Performing at MMEA is like no marching band experience. The atmosphere is very different and everyone know the music you’re playing. The standard seems higher and the anticipation is around the same level. Performing is exciting and nerve racking all at the same time,” Meng said.

The opportunity to attend the event will have lasting impact on all who attended.

“Performing at MMEA was like playing the Kauffman Center. Everything just sounded very beautiful and it felt like you had been taken to a different world,” Skinker said. “The highlight of the trip was playing that final note of the performance and just hearing everybody stand up and cheer for us and also how our sound resonated in the hall. It was simply amazing.”

The experience will not easily be forgotten.

“I will never take anything in life for granted. Not a lot of people are able to experience what it’s like to perform at an event like this and that is an experience I can never forget,” Nguyen said. “Music can connect people and bring us together. It’s universal.”