Community urged to support 2013 area concert band festival
, 2014


Community urged to support
2013 area concert band festival

The Northern Neck/Middle Peninsula Concert Band Festival opens Wedneday, March 6, at the Lancaster Middle School Theater in Kilmarnock.

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Some 16 area high and middle school bands will participate, according to LHS band director Robbie Spiers. Performances will continue Thursday, March 7.

The annual event showcases many of the school band programs, as they prepare to perform for a panel of four judges, who will evaluate, adjudicate, and rate each group on their performance.

“This is our SOL,” said Spiers. “We work all year, to prepare for this event—as it gives all of us an idea of where we stand musically. The judges are current or retired band directors who bring a wealth of knowledge to the event. Their comments help us all evaluate our programs, and improve them—based on their knowledge and suggestions.”

Each band prepares three selections to play on stage, from an approved list of concert literature. The pieces are graded by difficulty, from 1 (beginner) to 6 (college level). Following a stage performance, the band will move to another room to be judged on sight reading. Each group will be given a new piece that they and their director have never seen. After 7 minutes, they must perform it for the judge.

Once the process is complete, the bands and their directors receive a rating from the judges on their entire performance. Ratings are I (Superior “A”), II (Excellent “B”) or III (Good “C”).

“The bands do not compete against each other, they prepare and strive to get that rating of I, or Superior,” said Spiers. “The directors also will receive a professionally recorded CD of their performance, as well as recordings from each judge giving verbal comments to the kids/teachers during their performance.”

The festival is free and open to the public. Many of the bands enjoy an audience, and it enhances their overall performance.

“The community can come and go as they please, between groups,” he said. “We do ask that the public refrain from entering the auditorium while a group is performing. Minimal interruptions help the bands perform at their highest level.”

Spiers said he hopes the community will come support the arts in the schools, by hearing many of these groups.

“We appreciate the support of the arts that our community has, and hope to see a big audience,” he said.

Performance Schedule

March 6

4 p.m., Lancaster Middle School Concert Band

4:30 p.m., Richmond Intermediate School Band

5 p.m., Essex High School Concert Band

5:30 p.m., King William High School Concert Band

6 p.m., Judges dinner break

6:30 p.m., Washington and Lee High School Concert Band

7 p.m., Lancaster High School Concert Band

7:30 p.m., Lancaster High School Symphonic Band

March 7

4 p.m., Lancaster Middle School Symphonic Band

4 p.m., Hamilton Holmes Middle School Concert Band

5 p.m., Montross Middle School 7th Grade Band

5:30 p.m., Charles City High School Concert Band

6 p.m., Judges dinner break

6:30 p.m., Montross Middle School 8th Grade Band

7 p.m., Middlesex High School Concert Band

7:30 p.m., Mathews High School Concert Band

8 p.m., New Kent High School Concert Band

8:30 p.m., Northumberland High School Symphonic Band


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