Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Artist of the Week: Superior with Honor
Last weekend was the annual concert assessment. Middle and High schools across our district perform three pieces of music before three judges. Each judge scores the bands on a scale of one to five with one being superior. Then each band goes before another judge foe a sight reading. The director has seven minutes to organize the students to perform a new to the piece. As with the performance, the sight reading to judged on the same one to five scale.
The assessment is a very big deal, the directors select music that is graded by the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors' Association. The grading goes from I (the easiest) on up to at least VI (that's the highest I've seen). It's a tricky balance, the band director wants to challenge their students, but not overly so. Our school is at about a grade IV to grade V, next year we should be a solid V.
Everybody wants a superior rating and this year it's doubly so for Jacob's high school. This past fall the marching band earned a very hard won superior rating. If a high school's music program earns a superior in both wind and marching they become a Virginia Honor Band. So you can imagine the tension going in. Happily they did a solid performance and earned ones all across the board.
Below is their performance of "Beacon of Polaris" by Gary P. Gilroy.