The Minnesota All-State Honor Band had over 700 high school music students audition for 200 spots. Sophomore Hanna Hermanson received that honor, and was the lone representative from BHS Band.
“When [Music Teacher Mike] Knutson announced that I got in, I was like, ‘How did I get in?’ I panicked, I was like, ‘Why did you call my name?’ I turned to my friend amber and I said, ‘What did I do?’ and Sophomore Amber [Doebler] said ‘ALL STATE ALL STATE’ and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I remember now’,” said Hermanson.
Playing in the All State Honor Band is a privilege with the top performers in the band. It requires months of hard work, Hermanson has been rehearsing for the audition ever since her friend told her about it. Band Director Scott Rabehl said that the alto sax section is the hardest section of All-State Band to get into.
“[Sophomore Sarah] Walters actually told me about it, and when I first showed up I was like, ‘Wow, I gotta do this’. And I went in there, thinking that, oh I probably won’t get in, but I tried anyways. I practiced for two months, every day for half an hour. And then one Friday, we went to perform at a high school,” said Hermanson.
The Honor Band gives the students a chance to come together in a new environment and play the music that they all love.
“This summer, I’m going to go to a camp in Duluth for one week. I’m so excited. I love Duluth. And then one day in February, we go perform, usually at the Orchestra Hall, but they’re redoing it so we will go somewhere else,” said Hermanson.
Being in the Honor Band is one of Hermanson’s many involvements. She is currently involved in “The Herd” Marching Vand, Jazz 3, was accepted into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Marching Band, Varsity band, and solo and ensemble. During Solo and Ensemble Hermanson competed as a soloist as well as in a saxaphone quartet. Hermanson and Doebler played the alto sax, while Sophomore Eli Larson played on tenor sax, and Sophomore Camden Bright played baritone sax in the quartet. Her solo and the quartet received superiors, the highest ranking one could get.
Listen to Hanna Hermanson’s quartet perform “Maple Leaf Rag,” which earned a superior during the Regional solo and ensemble competition held in April.
After two years in Jazz 3, Hermanson has enjoyed her opportunities to take the stage alone and improvise a solo for concerts.
“I really like soloing because it’s a way I can express myself,” said Hermanson. “We get a scale and play off of that at the top of our head.”
As much as she enjoys playing the saxophone she wants to expand her abilities for her future in music.
“I want to be band teacher, preferably a middle school band teacher, because of my shortness,” Herman said with a laugh. “I like younger kids, too. I’m going to be taking piano lessons. I have a clarinet I’m going to bring it in to fix it up and I want to learn a lot of the instruments in band, but whenever I get on stage I get this feeling, that I can’t describe and I love it. It’s amazing.”
Written by Kirsten Kaufman, Marah Moy, and Maggie Walstrom.