Orion's Molly Vestal selected for district band

by Mindy Carls correspondent

Orion High School senior Molly Vestal was chosen to play tuba in the Illinois Music Education Association’s District 2 senior band.

She is the daughter of Cindy and Chuck Vestal of Andover.

Vestal heard about her selection from Lauren Heiberger, the director of bands for Orion High School and Orion Middle School.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, band members participated in an online workshop rather than playing in a festival concert at Augustana College, Rock Island.

“At first, I was sad because I knew that this year’s ILMEA concert wouldn’t be the same,” she said. “We wouldn’t go to Augustana and play as a whole. I knew I wouldn’t see the same faces I see every year in the low brass section.

“However, once I was on the Zoom call, it was very fun,” Vestal said. “I learned a lot from the conference and am very happy I made it.”

To qualify, musicians had to record their audition material and submit it online for judges to review.

“The most challenging part of the district audition was the scales,” Vestal said. “I always think the scales are hard because my tuba is a low brass instrument, and the scales force me to play extremely high. I always get a headache after playing them.”

Vestal’s favorite piece of music she has ever played was a Disney Pixar song for the Class of 2018’s graduation at Orion High School.

“It was so good,” she said. “I love Disney, so playing songs such as ‘Married Life’ from the movie ‘Up’ and ‘The Incredits’ from ‘The Incredibles’ was awesome.”

Vestal has performed in marching band, jazz band and concert band all four years of high school.

She appeared as a freshman in the OHS productions of “Our Town,” the 30-minute version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Guys and Dolls.”

As a sophomore, Vestal was in “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon” and “Bye Bye Birdie.”

During her junior year, she was in “Just Like Old Times” and “Little Shop of Horrors.”

Vestal was on the high honor roll from freshman through junior year.

She plans to study elementary education at Monmouth College.

Vestal also will be playing her sousaphone in the Fighting Scots Marching Band

The Illinois Music Education Association selected senior Molly Vestal to represent Orion High School in the District 2 senior band for 2020-21. She plays the tuba in the low brass section.