KayLeen Conklin Qualifies for District Band

By: Morgan Mansfield/Sophomore writer

After five years of playing flute, Blue Ridge sophmore, KayLeen Conklin, qualified for District Band.  Her audition, which is called pre-auditions, was on November 19th, 2017 at Wyoming Valley West and the results came in on November 20th.  She had placed eighth out of sixty-three auditioning flutists, and they only took the top sixteen flutes to move onto Districts.  Districts will be held January 11th through the 13th of 2018 at Marywood University hosted by Riverside High SchoolNow that Conklin has qualified for Districts, she is eligible to advance to Region Band and All-State Band or Wind Ensemble.

Conklin received her pre-audition piece, “Concerto in G major” by Mozart, towards the end of last school year and she began taking lessons on the piece in early September.  Along with the Mozart piece, Conklin was asked to play a few scales and sight read a piece of music.  Unfortunately, Conklin was the second to last flute to audition so she had to wait a long time in the holding room.

Admitting that she was nervous, Conklin said, “When it was my turn to audition, my audition went very smooth and my hard work payed off.”

Prior to qualifying for District Band, Conklin has participated in numerous band festivals throu ghout her middle school and high school career.  On top of that, she participates in the Northeastern Youth Wind Ensemble every Sunday at Marywood University. Conklin noted that participating in band has helped her as a student.

“It helped me be determined and realize that hard work pays off,” said Conklin.

Mr. LoRusso, the middle and high school band director, has been Conklin’s director for over four years.  LoRusso thinks quite highly of Conklin as a musician, for he has gotten to know her over the years.

“KayLeen is the single most self-motivated musician in our program.  She is the most active Blue Ridge musician outside of the school setting,” said LoRusso.

With all of her musical accomplishments, Conklin considers this her biggest accomplishment in her band career.  She plans to attend this competition throughout the rest of her high school career and continue to improve as a musician.

Morgan Mansfield is a second year journalism student, taking on her junior year of high school.  She spends most of her free time singing, playing, or writing music.  Fascinated by the human mind, Morgan plans to obtain a degree in Clinical Psychology and become a therapist to help people work through their troubles.