Josh Lindley scored a II, and Austin Moeckli scored a III. On the high school level, scores can range from I (exemplary) to V (ineffective). Austin noticed a difference in the judging from middle school to high school. On the high school level, scores can range from I (exemplary) to V (ineffective). “I learned that it is quite hard from the middle school to high school level,” Austin stated.After the percussionists’ solos were finished, the band was stationed in their homeroom to wait for their time to perform. The students were also able to go eat in the cafeteria and sit in the auditorium to watch other schools’ performances. While the band members had some down time, they found ways to make the time go by. “I liked playing ‘Heads Up’ with fellow band members,” Megan Shockley remarked.
Performances included two prepared songs and then sight reading a song picked out by MHSAA--the state high school organization running the contest. The sight reading music is a level down from the band size. New Haven is a class 2 band, so they read class 1 sight reading. Class determination is based on the size of a school’s music program.
After lunch, it was time for New Haven to perform. When everyone was finished eating, they gathered back at their home room and warmed up for their performance. Once their instruments were warm, it was time to go to the stage.
Each band performs in front of two judges for the prepared performance and one during the sight reading. When individuals perform, they only have one judge. Judges are usually former band directors who have years of experience.
The band had one last chance to warm up and tune their instruments before they started to perform. After they tuned up one last time, they were ready to begin their first piece. The Shamrocks performed Albemarle Fantasy and Yankee Fanfare. “I felt like it was a normal concert,” Tim Pruessner remarked, “I wasn’t nervous or anything.”
The next day, two ensembles and two solos returned to East Central to compete. The first thing Mrs. Koch did when they arrived is get the results of the full band from the day before. The band had received a II rating.
Both ensembles also received a II rating. The first ensemble consisted of Keven McDowell, Kimmy McDowell, Rachel Connell, Carolyn Allgaier, and Aaron Penning in a woodwind quintet. The second ensemble was a saxophone trio that had Alison Long, Emma Eichelberger, and Natalie Horstkamp. Keven commented on his performance,“I felt good because it was a good start for going to districts for the first time.”
The soloists were the last band members to perform. Devin Buchheit took a baritone solo, and Abby Perdue took a French horn solo. Abby Perdue received a II rating, and Devin received a I. This means that he will move on to the state level to perform. “I felt surprised and shocked, but I felt happy too. I had made a few mistakes, but Mrs. Koch told me to just continue and not worry about it. That’s how I got a I, and with hard work,” Devin expressed.
After all of their hard work, on Tuesday when they had class again, Mrs. Koch brought in doughnuts and orange juice to celebrate. “The high school band has worked harder than I have ever experienced in preparation for our district performance this year. I feel that the push to perform with district expectations has motivated the students to become better players... and they have. The band has met and exceeded many goals that were set through the district preparation process. Also, we were able to invite two clinicians into our school to work with the students; from this experience, the students learned new techniques and ways to think about and redefine their playing. Overall, I think this experience has taught the band students that they can perform at higher levels and be successful at those standards,” Mrs. Koch replied when asked about the experience the band gained from this performance.
On April 8th, they listened to the comments the judges left for them about their performance. Next year, when the band returns to the district competition, they plan to do just as well, or even better.
-by Abby Perdue