A pumped Aledo Middle School Honor Winds Band left for Chicago by bus at the crack of dawn Wednesday morning, nine months after receiving an invitation to perform at the annual December conference of the prestigious Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.
Directed by Ryan Johnstone, Joey Qualls and Tanner Trigg, the band is one of just four middle school bands worldwide to be invited to the conference, which was to feature 16,000 attendees and bands from Columbia, Finland and Japan as well as the United States Navy Band.
To prepare, Honor Winds performed a series of preview concerts this fall, ending with a Send-off Concert Dec. 15 at TCU.
The four-day trip was to include a Christmas concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a Blue Man Group performance, visits to the Field Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Science and Industry and some deep-dish Chicago pizza, according to one of the chaperones.
Johnstone has called the invitation “a huge program distinction and honor” that will put the Aledo community and greater Fort Worth on the international music map.