Band students attend ILMEA All-State


Rachel Piazza, staff writer

When EHS’s 12 best musicians arrived at Peoria, the city was unexpectedly dead-silent. That is, save for more than  600 students and instructors gathered for a three-day series of rehearsals, followed by a performance. 

The city of zero traffic and a breadless Subway was the site of the annual ILMEA All-State festival, which brings together the best high school musicians in Illinois to perform.

Among these students were band members Alessia Heiser, a sophomore bassoonist, and Amber Smith, a junior flautist.

Rehearsals stretched from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on day one, interrupted only by a college fair and composition showcase concert. But an unfamiliar conductor, Anthony Marinello, conductor of the Illinois State University Wind Symphony, helped Heiser and Smith to have an exciting new musical experience. 

They enjoyed the pieces they performed during the festival as well. Specifically, “Elegy for Albinoni” by Shelley Hanson, which is a romantic piece that uses tunes from the rarely-played violin sonata by Tomaso Albinoni. 

During the three days, the two students had the opportunity to bond with new people, friends and instructors alike. 

“The most memorable part for me was meeting the other bassoonists and becoming friends with them,” Heiser said. 

Meanwhile, Smith recalled her favorite moment being “spilling warrior cats lore to [her] teacher on the ride to the hotel from dinner”.

ILMEA All-State provided these two band students, seven orchestra students and three from choir with an opportunity to meet new instructors, socialize with other students and perform new, challenging music.