Band goes to Seattle for WIBC


Photo Courtesy of Ruby Hodenfield

WIBC is a four day conference where bands from all over America are selected to perform in front of international guest conductors and other high school bands.

Donna Kim, Commentary Editor

Two years ago, the top band of Bowie High School submitted three different recordings to the Western International Band Clinic (WIBC). Last year, they were formally invited to Seattle, Washington and on November 18, the Wind Ensemble flew out to Washington to perform at the DoubleTree Hotel in front of an audience of 100+ people. Cole Pennington and Ruby Hodenfield, two juniors who had the opportunity to go on this trip, describe their experience.

“Boarding time was at 5:40 in the morning, so we had to get up at around 3:00 just to get ready and drive to Bowie,” Pennington said. “We were all super tired, but we were all super excited to perform at such an event.”

WIBC is a four day conference where bands from all over America are selected to perform in front of international guest conductors and other high school bands. This year, WIBC was celebrating its 43rd annual conference of bands from around the world and their performing arts. Only four bands were selected to perform for this conference, and James Bowie High School were exclusively chosen to perform at such a prestigious event.

“Our performance was from 9:00 to 10:00 PM, and it was in front of many people, including WIBC officials,” Hodenfield said. “We performed on a platform that was big enough to fit all 40+ of us, and we all had to dress in fancy black outfits.” 

For the WIBC conference, high school bands are expected to choose five songs to perform. 

“On the third day of our trip, we performed at the DoubleTree Hotel for WIBC. For our first song, we played Deus Ex Machina. This was followed by Shenandoah, Four Scottish Dances, Acts of Congress, and our encore, La Boda De Luis Alonso,” Hodenfield said. “The audience was so impressed by our performance, that we even signed signatures on performance booklets after the event was over.”

Because of such an important invite, the Bowie band had to practice many hours in order to perfect their songs for Seattle.

“We had practice a lot during and after school,” Pennington said. “Because this was such an important event, we wanted our songs to be close to perfection. All the practice was worth it, because I think we did amazing in Seattle. Me and my friends were all very stressed, though, because there were bands from across the globe. I’m pretty sure there was a high school band from Australia.”

Despite this trip being solely for performing in Seattle, the band also went to many tourist places to celebrate having a successful performance.

“The first day of the trip, we went to Pikes Place and we rode the ferris wheel. The second day, we toured the Seattle Hawks Stadium and went to the Museum of Pop Culture. Following that, we went to the Bowing Exhibit,” Hodenfield said. “This trip was the best experience, especially for the band, and we all hope to be invited to something so special again.”