6/6/2013 5:04:00 PM Young musicians attend festival
The students of the Scootney Springs fifth-grade band stand with their teacher Janelle Swapp before heading to a music festival May 20. Submitted photo.
The Scootney Springs fifth-grade band packed up their instruments May 20 and headed off to Ellensburg to participate in a beginning band music festival. The students at the festival were between fifth and eighth grade, with Scootney's band being the youngest students there. Ahead of time, the bands were given the same couple songs to practice and learn. Then, when they arrived, they were given a few hours to rehearse the music again and again. The more than 200 students in attendance then came together to play the songs all at once, the music filling the space. "It was pretty spectacular," band teacher Janelle Swapp said. The kids did a great job, even having to rehearse for three solid hours after arriving at the festival. "They were exhausted," she said. Because it was a beginning band festival, she expected many of the bands to feature students who were in fifth grade, but that wasn't the case, she said. The kids came from all over. In addition to the Scootney bands, there were those from Yakima, Tri-Cities, Ellensburg and more. This is the first time an Othello school has gone to the festival, but Scootney Principal Gary Street took his students years ago when he was a teacher to one of the first festivals, Swapp said. The band got a lot of help in attending the festival. The Othello Music Boosters helped pay for the music and the Scootney PTA helped pay for the gas it took to get to and from the event.