On Friday, March 1 the William Wetsel Middle School Advanced Band, under the direction of Alicia Strickler, and the Madison County Symphonic Band, under the direction of Catherine Weaver, traveled to Fluvanna High School for State Concert Band Assessment.
State band assessment is a two stage event. The first is a performance of three prepared pieces for a panel of judges. Performances are judged against a rubric evaluating various technical aspects as well as musicality, interpretation, group discipline, and stage presence. Bands then move to the second stage, a sight reading evaluation where students perform a previously unseen piece of band literature which is judged against the same rubric. Judges scores from each stage are tallied to determine a bands overall rating.
William Wetsel Advanced Band received an overall rating of Superior, the highest possible rating.
“This is a group of very driven students” Strickler said. “I could tell during the performance that they were enjoying the product of their hard work.”
The Madison High School Symphonic Band received a Superior rating from every judge on the panel.
“For music educators we always plan and teach for outstanding performances.” Weaver said. “Our mantra this year has been repetition leads to artistry, in other words when the mechanics become second nature, we can truly perform at a level that communicates with the audience. Students successfully complete this kind of long term project with diligence and cooperation, building team skills that will benefit them in whatever occupation they may select in the future.”
The high school Symphonic Band’s Superior rating combined with the Marching Mountaineers Superior rating from State Marching Assessment designates the Madison County High School Band program as an Honor Band for 2018-2019 by the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association.