Bryce Bollinger is all set for an important date: He’s got his tie, a clean, pressed shirt, black slacks and a shiny, Gerhard Baier trumpet.
On Thursday, March 15, Bollinger, an eighth grader, will be one of about 40 students in a Butler Middle School band who will perform at an elite music festival for Utah junior high and middle school bands.
The school’s symphonic band is the first in Canyons District to earn the chance to perform at the Utah Music Educators Association-sponsored event, which will be in the Libby Gardner Hall at the University of Utah. The band won the opportunity at an audition earlier this year. They scored a “superior” rating.
Bollinger recalls the day when his teacher, Keith Davis, told the band they’d scored high enough at the audition to be invited to the festival. “One morning, Mr. Davis walked in holding a letter,” Bollinger says. “He told us at the very beginning, before he started reading the letter, that it said whether we’d made it. It took until the middle of the letter before it said that we’d made it.”
After Mr. Davis read the sentence that informed the band they’d gained an invitation to the festival, “everyone cheered,” said Bollinger, “and someone played the drums … We were all happy. It was fantastic.”
The band will play “Lead On, O King Eternal,” “Where Eagles Soar,” and “Trail of Dreams,” in which Bollinger, who has been playing the trumpet since the third grade and dreams of a music scholarship to the University of Utah or the Julliard School, has a few solos. The band has been rehearsing the pieces for about five months.
“I hope we do really well, ” Bollinger says, “and we don’t mess up.”