Going to the festivals was really cool. Neither ensemble qualified for the State contest, but it was a valuable experience.

The rhythm work the band has been doing all year has really paid off. Their sight-reading exercise really showed that. Nobody ever "aces" the sight-reading part of the contest, but they did pretty well in comparison to the rest of the schools.

At the choir festival, two girls had to sit down from lightheadedness. Nobody was seriously injured (nobody was injured at all, really), and the choir kept on singing, which are both the best things you could hope for.

I went on WebMD to look at common reasons people faint--talking with one of the girls, I thought I'd better make sure the things I've been told about fainting onstage are actually true! (Sure enough, they are.)

What causes onstage fainting? What can you do about it?

1. Heat -- Being onstage under lights, in dress clothes (for choir, this can mean robes, tuxedos, and warm dresses)...it's hot! You can't really do anything about the lights or your attire, but you can make sure you're well-hydrated. Lightheadedness itself is a symptom of dehydration, so if you're not drinking enough water, you're not doing yourself any favors.

2. Locking your Knees -- Locking your knees restricts the bloodflow in your legs. Not as much blood gets back up to your heart, which means that not as much blood gets reoxygenated and sent around to important balance-managing parts of your body like your brain.

3. Low Blood Sugar and/or Fatigue -- Both of these can make you feel lightheaded, which can make you more likely to faint. You don't have to eat a ton before you perform--in fact, it's probably a bad idea--but make sure you've eaten something before a show or concert. Along the same lines, make sure you get enough sleep!

Nobody was hurt at the district festival, but when you lose consciousness and fall to the ground, you can really hurt yourself. It's not worth skipping breakfast, not being hydrated, or staying up really late when you think about it.

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