COLUMBUS - Five marching Chieftains lent their musical abilities to All-Ohio State Fair Band.
Hopewell-Loudon High School was represented in the band by sophomore AnDra Taulker, juniors David Beleny, Gabi Brandt and Samantha Taylor, and 2011 graduate Natalie Brandt.
All-Ohio State Fair Band and All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir perform during Ohio State Fair, which concluded Aug. 7.
PHOTO COURTESY NATALIE BRANDT
Hopewell-Loudon High School was represented in All-Ohio State Fair Band by, from left, junior David Beleny, junior Samantha Taylor, graduate Natalie Brandt, junior Gabi Brandt and sophomore AnDréa Taulker.
Natalie, whose older sister had been in the band, completed her third and final year in the ensemble this year. She said she got involved the first year after her band director suggested it.
"This year was probably the best year, just in general," she said.
Natalie was named first chair of the trumpet section, which means she was ranked the highest out of 28 trumpet players and performed a lot of solos. She and other section leaders also taught others how to march.
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She said her favorite memory from this year's fair was being filmed for a movie titled "Parker."
According to the band's website, band members were filmed for the movie, which stars Jennifer Lopez and Jason Statham and is to premier next year. The musicians played "The Stars and Stripes Forever" as Statham walked around Cardinal Gate dressed as a priest. The band also was filmed during a parade.
Natalie said band members have no idea whether they will make the cut to be in the film.
"Everybody does (plan to see it when it comes out)," she said.
Natalie said her experience with the band was a lot of hard work but was worth it. Playing in the band improves a musician's ability, she said.
"You make friends for life," she said.
Gabi, Natalie's younger sister, was a member of the band for the second year. Gabi played flute and piccolo and said she got involved because Natalie had joined the year before.
"She told me stories of how she had a great time down there," she said.
One of the memories Gabi has from this year involves a middle-of-the-night game about 30 musicians played.
"We woke at 3 a.m. to play Swiffer hockey. ... It was loud because all of us (were) screaming in the hallway at 3 a.m.," she said.
Gabi said musicians put Swiffer cleaning pads on the bottom of rods.
"We set up four trash cans, two at each end, and we had a ball that we just tried to get into the goal," she said.
The game lasted about 10 minutes before the players were told to go back to bed.
"We woke up the staff," she said.
Gabi said she plans to participate in the band for the next two years.
"It's been good. ... It's made me a better (musician)," she said.
Beleny played a trumpet in the band and said he wanted to be involved because he wanted to be a better musician. He said people had told him it is a lot of fun and musicians make a lot of friends.
Beleny said musicians had fun every day. He said every day was different, and the experience never would be the same thing repeatedly.
Beleny, whose said his favorite part of the experience probably was performing, plans to try out again next year.
"It's a lot of fun, and you learn a lot. ... I think, overall, I'm better musically," he said.
Taulker played the clarinet during her first year in the band. She filled out an application after Jess Nelson, Hopewell-Loudon's band director, asked whether anyone wanted to go. She said she liked being able to play new music, and it challenged her.
"It was harder," she said. "I got to meet new people as well."
All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir also had a local flair.
Zac Felton, a 2011 graduate, was one of three musicians representing Calvert High School. Nick Saxton, also a 2011 graduate, and Lauren Kerr, a senior, were in the choir as well.
According to the choir's website, its 200 members are chosen each spring based on their ability and experience, the recommendation of their high school choral director and the consent and support of their parent or guardian.
Felton, who is a tenor, spent his second year in the choir this year and said he applied to participate again because it was a good experience.
He said it is one of the
best experiences he ever has had.
He said people in the choir accept and love others for who they are, and it is like a family.
"You aren't afraid to be yourself," he said.
Felton said his favorite memory from this year's experience was the time he spent in the dormitories and with friends. He said he felt a camaraderie between the people in the choir.
"One of the main things the choir tries to do is build lifelong friendships," he said.