by Danielle Wagner
SOLON (KWWL) After sending in a taped audition in January, the Solon eighth grade band was selected to play at the Iowa Band Masters Convention.
Band Director Dorothy Jacobi said only two middle school bands will perform: one from 1A and 2A and one from 3A and 4A.
Solon School is 2A but the band is 3A because of the number of students involved.
"I don't know the schools, all I know is there were eight of us in the category, and I'm going to assume there were some 4A schools in that," said Jacobi.
Jacobi said getting selected is the equivalent of the Solon Spartans football team beating West Des Moines Valley for the state championship.
"I never really imagined it. Mrs. Jacobi would tell us we were good, but I thought it was just a band director thing," said student Lauren Benzing.
"I'm really glad our band made it. I think if any band was going to make it, it would be us because we work really hard and we knew what a big thing it was," said student Bailey Kelsay.
But Dorothy Jacobi wasn't completely confident in the audition tape. She wanted to re-record one of the songs.
"We never got the opportunity again because we were out of school the rest of that week and Saturday morning was when the auditions needed to be postmarked. I sat outside the post office for a good 15 minutes. I didn't know if I could send it in," said Jacobi.
But, of course, she did send it in. Later, she heard from a member of the listening committee who told her it was the last song that got her band in.
"I said you're joking, right? And she said no it was fantastic. We recognized it, we know the difficulty on it and your students played that beautifully and I started laughing. I said they can play is so much better!" said Jacobi.
Now, the students are working hard for their live performance in Des Moines in May.
Director Dorothy Jacobi said while this accomplishment is great, the bigger accomplishment is what happens after middle school.
"I don't just teach how to play an instrument, I try to teach skills that students will take out of this classroom and use throughout their whole life. These are our future leaders, our future presidents, our lawyers, our doctors, our teachers and that's why having arts in our schools is so important," she said.
Reporter: Danielle Wagner