Major musical festival featured four West Grand band members |

Major musical festival featured four West Grand band members

Meg Soyars

Four West Grand High School band members played their best during the Best of the West Music Festival, which took place at Colorado Mesa University in December.

Alex Bergman, Emily Osborne, and Luke Leaghty spoke about their experience during the West Grand School District board meeting on Feb. 8. The board of education recognized the students, which also included Orion Ilgner, for their musical accomplishments.

Bergman and Osborne are both seniors preparing for college next year, while Ilgner and Leaghty are freshman.

At Best of the West, the Kremmling students were able to enjoy performances by the CMU band, then perform themselves alongside nearly 300 students from around the country.

“These kids are normally in a band of between 10-20 kids, so being in a band with 100 kids, it’s a whole different world,” said Band Director Dan Bowerly, who prepared the students for their trip.

This was Osborne’s third time attending Best of West.

“It was nice being the only returning one, so I could see (the other students) experience it for the first time. I have a lot of fun memories from my last two trips; band trips are always a good time,” Osborne said. “It’s like after you’ve won a huge football game or wrestling match and you’re just pumped with energy … It’s the best feeling in the world.”

Bergman added that his favorite part about Best of the West was watching the CMU band perform and learning from the different interactive performers.

“Most band concerts, you just sit there and look up front … (but) they have players stationed all over the auditorium,” Bergman said.

Bergman also talked about his experience attending the Western International Band Clinic, which took place in Seattle in November. The clinic allowed honors band members to work with renowned composers from around the country.

“This was an exclusive band opportunity,” said Bergman, who plays both the clarinet and obo. “Not everyone who auditioned made it, so being from a small school and being able to go was really exciting.”

Bergman and Osborne practice theater in addition to music. They are starring in the high school drama department’s upcoming play, “Alice at Wonderland,” an updated version of “Alice in Wonderland.”

Osborne will be the lead, Alice, and Bergman will be the male lead, the Mad Hatter, and also play Tweedledum. “Alice at Wonderland,” directed by Bowerly, will be shown for the school on March 14, then for the public on March 15-16.

Bergman joked that there will be “lots of laughs” when he stands on a chair for his solo singing performance.

“Being a senior and having this be my last play, this is something I have to make the most of,” Bergman said.

This will also be Osborne’s last play.

“Everybody should see it at least once … We’ve got a lot of crazy characters; there’s going to be a lot of fun stuff,” she said. “Theater is a lot of laughs, and it gives a lot of memories.”

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