Congratulations to all members of the Senior High Concert Band for an outstanding performance at Tuesday’s Music Performance Assessment at Westminster College! The band garnered two Excellent ratings and one Superior rating (Superior being the highest possible) from the panel of judges for an overall rating of “Excellent.” This is equivalent to a PSSA standard of “Advanced” or a grade of “A.” At the 2009 MPA, the Concert Band performed at a “Grade 2″ level, however, this year, the band performed at a higher “Grade 3″ level. The performance included a Paul Lavender arrangement of John Williams’ Raiders March, Gustav Holst’s First Suite in Eb for Military Band, and Charles Carter’s Overture for Winds. The bands have been improving by leaps and bounds over the past few years, and this assessment reflects all of the students’ hard work and dedication to the program. Following the performance, Mr. Gary Taylor, Director of Bands at Wilmington High School and Festival Host, commented to the band that “If [he] could give out an award to the most improved group from last year, it would be the Sharon band.” Audio recordings from the performance are here. Congratulations once again to the members of the Senior High Concert Band!
As a director, I couldn’t be more proud. This group performed Grade 2 & 3 level pieces at last years’ festival, and in just one year, they performed a Grade 3 & 5. Playing the entire Holst First Suite was a major accomplishment for these students, especially since we lack some essential instrumentation like trombones and horns. I re-wrote a lot of those missing parts to be covered in other instruments, and they did a tremendous job covering all of the stuff I wrote out for them.
The performance went really well, and overall, I’m quite pleased. Some aspects of the performance were better than ever, and of course some have gone better in the past. But, in the end, the students did an absolutely outstanding job performing some of the most important literature ever written for the concert band.