Best of Best Student Musicians in Lycoming County Perform at Festival

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MONTGOMERY -- The music coming from inside Montgomery Senior High School isn't stopping anytime soon.

"We sit down and play for like an hour or two, and we have a break for a second. Then we play for an hour or two, and then we have lunch, and then we play for an hour or two, and then we have a break, and then we play for an hour or two, and then we go home," said Cade Neal.

Each year, about 120 students are handpicked from high schools across Lycoming County to perform at the County Band Festival. Every year the festival is held at a different school. This year it's at Montgomery Area High School.

"For my Montgomery kids, this is a great experience to feel the full band, to work with a full band, and have all the instruments they don't usually have when there is just us," said Brian Rehn.

The students are given a new band director and about 48 hours to learn several new songs before the concert.

"I've been told by the back row I have to talk a little louder," said George Standish.

"It is a step up which I really don't mind because you're here to learn and expand your musical talents," said Maddie LaForme.

A lot of the student musicians at Montgomery Area School District for County Band are used to performing with a group that's less half the size of this one.

At Jersey Shore Area High School, tenth-grader Cade Neal usually has all the trombone solos.

"Well, I’m the only trombone. We have a baritone, (and) we have one tuba. We are like really small; there are like 20 of us, maybe," said Neal.

"That's part of what music education does is give them as many experiences as possible. This is just one more experience for them," said Rehn.

As for Neal, he will be back in the auditorium practicing for the concert that's open to the public Friday at 7 p.m. in Montgomery.