Junior high students flaunted their musical talents Tuesday at Copperas Cove High School during the 2013 Central Texas Musical Festival.

“They’ve been preparing since right after their winter holiday,” said Randy Kelley, director of the Copperas Cove High School Band. “It’s a big deal for them.”

The performances during the second night of the weeklong festival at Lea Ledger Auditorium featured students from Copperas Cove Junior High, S.C. Lee Junior High and the Copperas Cove Independent School District Invitational Middle School Honor Band and other young musicians from Central Texas.

Before a nearly full auditorium, the students performed traditional and contemporary selections.

“I hope that performing like this is fun and that it encourages them to continue playing into high school and beyond,” Kelley said.

Bands from other grade levels and professionals were scheduled to perform at the festival throughout the week.

McKenna Miller, a 12-year-old Copperas Cove Junior High flutist, enjoyed listening to the music and performing.

“It was really fun, and I think we did really well,” McKenna said.

Michaela Hammond, a 14-year-old Cove Junior High flutist, shared McKenna’s excitement but added she was anxious during the show.

“Getting nervous while you’re on stage is part of it,” she said.

Michaela said she will continue her dedication to music. “I’ve been in the band since the sixth grade. I definitely want to continue playing when I go to high school.”

Lori Waters, the mother of eighth-grader Anna Noordam, a trumpeter for Copperas Cove Junior High, said she enjoyed Tuesday night’s shows.

“The show was just great,” Waters said, smiling.

Waters joined many students’ friends and family members during the intermissions to photograph their loved ones on stage.

Professional CD and DVD recordings of the performances were sold in the lobby to defray some of the festival’s cost.

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