Hartke earns place in state honor’s band
Will Hartke, a senior, who is an alto saxophone player, has been admitted into the WSMA high school state honors band. To be accepted requires an extensive audition process including preparing a solo, and having the ability to sightread music.
Rib Lake Band Director and teacher, Matt Robisch, said that “Being an alto saxophone player, and being accepted is a huge accomplishment because the competition is fierce. Out of more than 200 alto saxophone players who auditioned, only 4 are accepted. Will earned this spot, he has worked so hard.”
The Wisconsin School of Music Association (WSMA) is a non-profit statewide association serving more than 3,500 music teachers and school administrators in the education of 100,000+ students who annually participate in the organization’s activities through their school’s membership. WSMA is a leader in providing programs and services that challenge youth to achieve excellence through music.
Their mission is to ensure that all students have opportunities which encourage lifelong involvement in music. WSMA will provide statewide music programming activities, offer leadership and support for school music programs, and advance music as an integral part of the school curriculum and community life.
Hartke started auditioning in 2020, to be submitted in the spring of 2021. Hartke said “I applied in March of 2021 and accepted in April of 2021.”
Wisconsin Rapids holds a required three-day camp (2 days virtual, 1 day in-person). Within a week of getting accepted, he received 3 different pieces that he has been working on to have ready by the summer workshop. The students can have them prepared to the best of their ability and then a conductor fine tunes it with them. The students have a section coach, for alto saxophones only, to polish the parts of the group. A performance is being held the last Thursday of October at the state Music Teacher’s Convention, at the Overture Center in Madison.
Robisch also added “Being an adjudicator in the past myself, I know what to help Will with. Plus it gives me insight to the level that he will be competing against.”
One of the reasons the State Music Teachers Association feels that this is such an important honor is that the students gain higher level skills that they can bring back and share with their home ensembles.
Hartke has always had a love of music, and he is hoping to go onto school for music. He isn’t sure what, but he knows he wants to have a future in music.