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Faloona’s Mellifluous Music

Despite+his+broken+arm+%28see+the+green+cast%3F%29%2C+Mitch+is+poised+to+play+his+best+at+the+All-State+Band+Concert+in+January.+Here+he+practices+the+euphonium+during+his+band+class+at+TBS.
Despite his broken arm (see the green cast?), Mitch is poised to play his best at the All-State Band Concert in January. Here he practices the euphonium during his band class at TBS.

Despite his broken arm (see the green cast?), Mitch is poised to play his best at the All-State Band Concert in January. Here he practices the euphonium during his band class at TBS.

Skyler Zur

Skyler Zur

Despite his broken arm (see the green cast?), Mitch is poised to play his best at the All-State Band Concert in January. Here he practices the euphonium during his band class at TBS.

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The mellifluous sounds of Mitch Faloona’s euphonium were heard in his audition for the All-State Band. If you don’t know what “mellifluous” or “euphonium” means, we’re here to tell you. “Mellifluous” means pleasant to hear, and a euphonium is a valved, brass, musical instrument resembling a small tuba of tenor pitch. Faloona, an eighth-grade student at TBS, recently earned a seat in the prestigious All-State Band. This opportunity is a great honor for him, but he is facing a small obstacle when it comes to assuming his new duties.

Faloona broke his arm running down his driveway on Halloween night. Although this seems like it would be setback for him, he finds it to be something that will not deny him from following his dreams. “Although I have a broken arm, this will not get in the way of my playing because first of all, I don’t have to play with my left hand, but also because I want this chance and nothing is going to stop me from doing this,” said Faloona.

Because becoming a member of the All-State Band is such an honor, Faloona is determined to play no matter what. He has been selected for the All-District Band the previous two years, but this was the first year he was chosen for All-State.

For All-State Band, only seventh and eighth graders are eligible to audition. I auditioned for the band last year as a seventh grader, but I was not selected. This year, I worked more on my musicality and technique for each piece.”

The main difference between the two bands is that the All-State Band is exponentially more competitive and selective than the All-District Band. According to Benjamin’s Middle School Band Director Mr. Bruce Huber, “The All-State Band only allows 130 student musician[s] into the group and just eight euphonium players.”

Faloona auditioned for All-State earlier this semester at Independence Middle School in Abacoa. “The students are given an audition time and room [number],” said Huber, explaining the audition process. “Each student auditions by themselves with two band directors from the county present. Each audition is digitally recorded and sent to Tallahassee for review by a panel of Florida Bandmasters Association members. The auditioning students are asked to play six major scales, the chromatic scale, and two prepared pieces.”

Faloona’s accomplishment is the culmination of a lot of hard work. “I have been playing the euphonium for five years now,” said Faloona. I was inspired to do this because after having the privilege of being in All-District Band for the past two years, I heard many people talking about All-State. That is what inspired me, along with encouragement from my private teacher, and Mr. Huber.  Also I just love to play my instrument.”

Although it was an arduous  challenge, Faloona is ready and thrilled to join the band, and he has a lot of support from TBS. “I love [that he has this opportunity],” gushed Head of Middle School Mr. Charles Hagy. “I’m so proud of him. He is going to represent his school well. He is an amazing student, and I know that anywhere he goes, he is a role model to everyone around him.”

Despite the focus required for All-State, Mitch still finds time to play piano, ukulele, trombone, tennis, and maintains straight As in his academic classes. “Organization and time management are very important,” said Faloona. “Music is a big part of my life, and I really enjoy playing instruments. Even on days when I have tennis and a lot of homework, I still try to squeeze in some practice time for my music.”

The All-State Middle School Band will perform on Saturday, January 16 at the Tampa Convention Center. This performance is part of the Florida Music Educators Association’s Annual Convention. Mitch is thrilled to perform “with so many talented musicians from all over the state of Florida in front of thousands of people.” In addition he is excited “to represent The Benjamin School in the All-State Middle School Band.”

There’s no slowing Faloona down, even with a broken arm.

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Faloona’s Mellifluous Music