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Band students participate in 68th annual Janfest

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Every January, the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia hosts Janfest, a band festival where hundreds of high school band students from across Georgia who are selected travel to Athens to participate. At the festival, students audition for a spot in the many different bands at Janfest, from various honors bands, to concert bands and wind ensembles.

11 students from Lee County were selected to participate in this year’s Janfest. The students left last Thursday January 18th to travel up to Athens, and stayed until Sunday.

All of the band students spent most of their time rehearsing in the bands they were placed in. Being given music they had never seen before, the students worked hard during rehearsals to play to the best of their abilities.

Students also got to watch different special guest bands. The Okayama Sanyo High School Wind Orchestra traveled all the way from Okayama Japan to perform at Janfest. Along with them, other bands like the Alpharetta High School Wind Ensemble, the Lassiter High School Symphonic Band, the Milton High School Wind Ensemble, and the North Paulding High School Wind Symphony performed as special guests at Janfest.

Janfest also has a special Auxiliary day on January 20th, where high school color guard members, twirlers, and dancers from across Georgia travel to UGA, where members of the UGA auxiliary lines lead different classes. The Lee County auxiliary team participated in these classes, learning many new routines and techniques.

On Sunday, the bands performed in the Hodgson Concert hall, playing the music they learned at Janfest. All of the bands performed magnificently, and their hard work showed.  

“It was really fun, we met some new people, we got to spend time together, and we played good music.” says Austin Shiver (10), one of the band students who participated in the event.

Janfest this year was a great experience for the hundreds of band students invited this year and the crowd that showed up to enjoy the performance from these talented students.

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