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Megan Cox
Megan Cox
Graphic Design Editor

Megan Cox is a junior at Palatine High School. She is very involved in art at PHS and makes graphics for Cutlass. Cox is a photographer for the school yearbook. In her free time she volunteers at a dog...

Palatine High School hosts annual community Band Play-A-Thon

As part of the horn section, Palatine musicians play together for the first time with new music.

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving break, band kids from all generations met in the PHS cafeteria to enjoy a night of musical fun called the Band Play-a-Thon. 

“Everyone that comes to this event tonight has one thing in common, and that’s that they played in a band and they play music, whether it’s an elementary school kid, or it’s someone’s grandpa,” Band Director Carlos Esquivel said. 

At the Play-a-Thon, musicians are each given an assigned seat with a folder of music on it. They’ve never seen this music before, and have no idea what songs are coming next or what they are even playing before we start the timer. Once everyone is seated, they all open their folders together and play the first song. The goal is to play as many songs like this before the one hour time period runs out. 

Because this is a community event, many of the Play-A-Thon participants didn’t know each other before they started playing, and might never see each other again, but for that one night, they were connected through their shared experience and passion for the music that they were playing. 

Events like this being hosted for the community show that the band program is not an isolated group of people and that it’s connected to the community through the hard work and effort that these musicians have all put into their instruments. 

This event also serves as a fundraiser for the music program that contributes to some of the events that they run as well as scholarships for seniors who have put lots of hard work into the program. This money also goes towards smaller things, like ordering pizzas for the band after a long night of rehearsals. During the event, there was also a raffle that raised money for the music program with a top prize of two tickets to see Olivia Rodrigo on tour. 

Another reason that the Band Play-a-Thon is valuable is that it allows band kids to show off their performing side by playing for a live audience. This aspect of the Play-a-Thon also shows people not in the band community how connected they  are and it can inspire younger students to join the band program when they get a little bit older.

“It was a really interesting experience and a great way to meet new people,” community member Ally Blain said. “It was also a new way to use my music skills.”

This event draws in many Palatine alumni who participated in the band program when they were students. It allows them to reconnect with old friends and come back to Palatine after sometimes years of being away. 

“It’s really nice to go back to your high school and do an event with your old directors and see your friends again,” one Palatine High School alumnus said.

At the end of the day, the Play-a-Thon is an amazing experience that allows musicians to show off their hard work have some fun as a community.

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About the Contributors
Tessa Faltinek, Reporter
Tessa Faltinek is a freshman at Palatine High School this year who is involved in many activities and sports. She enjoys beings on the swim team and participating in marching band. In her free time, Faltinek loves reading and some of her favorite genres are Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Siomara Valdez, Sports & Photography Editor

Siomara Valdez is a senior at Palatine High School. Valdez is very passionate about photography as it is a hobby of theirs. Valdez went out of their comfort zone to take on new opportunities in photography becoming the color guard photographer for the season. They are a part of the eSports team playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and made it to state last year. Valdez is a big fan of the band Foo Fighters and wants to one day photograph at one of their concerts. They got recruited into Cutlass at Chipotle and went to the meetings in hopes to improve their photography. After high school, Valdez wants to pursue accounting as their career and continue photojournalism at Winona State University.

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