Symphonic Band Festival

Bethany Cutkomp, Editor-In-Chief

Hazelwood West’s symphonic band had their annual band competition at Ritenour High School. The festival consisted of preparing pieces to perform in an auditorium and then following with reading a piece that has never been looked at before.

“It was great,” said flute player, Hope Sheahan. “I think it was the best performance we could ever do.”

The way that band festivals work is that the band is rated on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 is considered to be the top performance, while 5 is the grade that means the band deserves the most improvement. Three judges watch each bands’ performances and rate them on their execution of each element.

West’s band prepared two songs for the performance. The first song was a concert march called The Victoria Peak. The second piece was a dramatic piece called And The Angels Called. The pieces were different from each other in style and theme, but the band executed it very well. In the first performance, the judges awarded the band with a 2.

“We did pretty good,” said trumpet player, Tramon Ellis. “We had everything down and prepared for the performance.”

The next part of the festival is the sight-reading section. This part is where the band is taken into a seperate room and given a piece of music that they have never seen or read before. They are allowed limited time to look at the piece without playing it beforehand, and are allowed to clap out rhythms and discuss more difficult parts of the piece. Then the band is judged for how well they execute the piece by reading it for the first time. West earned a 3 in the sight-reading section of the festival.

Hazelwood West’s band director, Mr. Jackson said, “We played our best that we possibly could. I’m proud of the students and how they handled themselves. They proved to be mature today. I was pleased with the performance.”

Now that the festival is over West’s band will continue to tweak their songs from the judges comments, and will perform additional songs to perform at the upcoming spring concert.