Both Bands qualify for state competition

By Tori Putman — This year, both the Concert band and the Symphonic Wings have advanced to the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) contest. Both of our bands haven’t advanced to the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) State Band Contest since the spring of 2012. The bands have gone individually since then, but not at the same time.

Both bands perform at OMEA District Band Contest. The contest was on March 13 and 14th at Lake High School. This year, because they both received an overall rating of a one “Superior” at districts, the bands are invited to advance onto the OMEA State Band Contest.

State band contest will take place at GlenOak on April 24 and 25.

When performing at contests, districts or states, there are two components to the judging.

First the band will perform three pieces of music on the stage for three highly respected judges. Typically each band begins with a march and then each group is also required to play a piece of music from a prescribed list of pieces that is divided by ability level. The third piece is called the “select” piece and the director has complete freedom in picking this piece. Usually trying to pick something that will show off the strengths of the group.

After the performance of these three pieces on the stage, the band then goes into the sight reading room with one judge. The band is given a total of eight minutes to look at a piece of music they have never seen before and then they have to play it straight through to the best of their ability in front of the judge.

A rating is given from one to five. One is the highest rating and is called a “Superior” rating. Both the concert band and the Symphonic Winds received ones this year.

“Advancing to and performing at OMEA State Band Contest is one of the highest honors for a band in the state of Ohio. I would say that for the students in band it’s equivalent to advancing to the state championships in basketball, football, or any other sport,” Assistant band director, Kelsey Giotta said.

The ultimate goal is to go on to receive another one “Superior” rating at state contest. Both bands this year have promising chances of reaching that goal.

“It was really exciting that concert band received a I this year, especially the same year as the other band,” junior Gina Monnet said.

[Updated Aug. 12, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]