RUMFORD — Despite nervous moments, two students from Mountain Valley High School rose to the challenge of auditions to perform at the Kennebec Valley Music Educators Association Festival.

Senior Andrew Boucher was selected for the senior high school band. He plays trumpet. Sophomore Dakota White sang in the senior high school chorus as a bass. Both are experienced at regional festivals.

Boucher participated at the KVMEA Festival as a junior and also as an eighth grader. While this was his first time at KVMEA, White sang at the District 2 Music Festival before arriving at MVHS, since he was a sixth grader.

Long before the festival performance, there’s the audition, a nerve-wracking time for musicians and chorus members.

White said, “We had to wait in a room until someone came to get us to go to our audition room. Then we had to sing part of a song called ‘Per la Gloria.’ Then we had to sight-read a piece of music.”

“Per la Gloria d’Adorarvi” is an Italian piece from the opera “Griselda” by composer Giovanni Bononcini. In English, the title means “For the Glory of Adoring You.” At the audition, chorus members sang in Italian.

Boucher described his experience auditioning with his trumpet as “Obviously, I was nervous. However, I collected myself, held my composure and gave it my all. The extent of my effort proved to be satisfactory, as I made it into the program.”

Boucher credits MVHS music director Michael Prescott with providing the motivation for Boucher’s audition.

“My band teacher’s attitude toward my abilities motivated me to try out,” Boucher said. “When the big moments come to me, I am almost always successful in honing my skills.”

After the auditions, it was back to MVHS to work on the music. With months of practice, both young men were ready for the concert. The band and chorus only rehearse together the day before and the day of the concert. So musicians and singers must know the music prior to that time.

Boucher described his experience at the concert, “Oh my, it was breath-taking. The audience applauded with every song we performed, allowing me to love the spotlight even more so. They stood and cheered for something that I, a typically quiet and shy young man, did. The appreciation of my talents brings out the best in me.”

White was a little more reserved with his description, “My experience at the concert was good but I was the only one who made it for the chorus for Mountain Valley. So I didn’t have anyone to talk to until I made friends with some Dirigo students.”

Both have words of advice for students who might consider trying out for KVMEA festival.

White said, “Don’t get nervous during the audition. You’ll do fine but you need to know you might not make it. It is easier for a guy to get in than it is a girl trying to get in.” Many more girls try out than boys and there’s a fixed number of slots for each gender.

Boucher advised, “Do it! Even if you don’t make it the first time, it’ll make you try harder the next year.”

Both young men will perform at the annual MVHS spring concert in May.

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