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Representing WHS as a family


Having been a member of the Wood Middle School Band Program for three years and of the Wilsonville High School Band for almost four years, concerts and performances have become things in which I take great pride.


The symphonic band was one of six ensembles from WHS that had the opportunity to compete in a “Music in the Parks” festival in Disneyland this spring. This was an amazing chance for members of the music program not only to perform in an out-of-state competition but also to spend an entire weekend bonding with one another.

The journey began May 29. Students and staff worked together to load luggage, supplies and instruments onto two enormous travel buses. After everything was packed and ready to go, we embarked on our 10-hour drive to Sacramento.

To almost anyone, 10 hours on a bus full of band kids probably sounds like an exhausting and stressful event. However, after participating in many competitions over the years, long bus rides have become not only a common experience but also an enjoyable one.

After spending the night in Sacramento, waking up bright and early to board the bus once again and traveling another day, we finally arrived at our final destination: Anaheim, Calif. Once our luggage was unloaded and unpacked, we got to spend the evening in Downtown Disney. There were several restaurants to choose from, and plenty of Disney shops to browse through. We had a strict bedtime that night, as it was essential to get lots of rest before our performance.

Our competition took place the following morning at a Presbyterian church in Placentia, a town near our hotel. Each performing group received extremely high ratings in this competition.

I have never been more proud to call myself a Wildcat than when, during the award ceremony later that day, almost every first place trophy was awarded to our school. Not only did five out of six Wilsonville performing groups receive first place awards, but our school also brought home the most important trophy awarded: the Esprit de Corps trophy.

This trophy is reserved for the group that “demonstrated proper social behavior as well as musical behavior/encouragement” and “possesses the qualities of highly successful people who are sensitive to the feelings of others and applauded accomplishments no matter if by one’s own school or another school.”

Times like these, times when you truly put forth your best effort and receive recognition for your efforts, are the times that we should live for. It’s truly an honor to be able to collaborate and work with such talented students. When you are a member of a band or an orchestra or a choir, these people become not just teammates but family as well. Our WHS music program family got to travel to this competition. And we represented our school by performing to our greatest ability.

When we returned June 2, we brought home five first-place trophies, one second-place trophy, the Esprit de Corps award, a few solo recognition awards and countless beloved memories.

There’s no one else I would have rather spent time with in “The Happiest Place on Earth” than those who were with me up on that stage, working as hard as possible in order to succeed and represent our school well.

Ashlyn McManus is an incoming senior at Wilsonville High School. She contributed this column as part of her application to become a student columnist for the Spokesman during the 2014-15 school year.