“Just one more scale run,” sophomore Laith Rukab said to himself, lifting his golden baritone saxophone. Laith was one of the hundreds of students in Brevard who recently auditioned for this year’s All-County Band.
“I tried to at least get an hour of practice a day, but it was hard with work and other activities,” said Rukab, who has a part-time job and goes to the gym multiple times a week.
Like many band and orchestra students, Rukab spent hours of his time in the practice room, repeating his scales and etude.
“This year I worked the hardest,” he said. “I knew I was on the edge of getting in.”
After having the earliest audition for baritone saxophone at 5 p.m. last Thursday, Rukab was officially accepted into the band on Tuesday.
“Music is a big part of me and I hope to continue it through my life,” he said.
There was a greater turnout for auditions this year compared to last.
“I feel like we’re moving in the right direction,” Band Director Christopher Houze said. “More students took the leap towards trying out, and I would like to see even more [next year].”
Houze listened to every student play their etudes and gave advice. He is a judge for All-County every year and knows what most judges look for.
“I hope that my guidance from that perspective helps them,” Houze said.
When the All-County results came out, eight of Houze’s students, including Rukab, chaired in the band: Mateo K. (8), Jacob M. (8), R.J. s. (8), Brayden Cheek (10), Evan Courtney (12), Nathan Foo (10), and Emma Robinson (12).
Additionally, nine students made the orchestra: Arvin N. (7), Ioana S. (7), Haley Alvarez-Lauto (10), Abby Goodman (10), Madeline Huberman (9), Coral Kehm (11), Hannah Langenbach (12), Janet Lu (12), and Ben Pinfield (12).
Six students made the chorus ensemble: Mady Anderson (12), Laura Shelton (9), Hannah Kent (12), Katelyn Curtis (11), Zoe Boyer (11), and Jimmy Wood (11).
All-County Jazz band audition results are expected to be released next week.
By Emma Robinson