Band, symphonic, chamber orchestra impress at MCPS Festival Adjudication

Joyce Yang, Staff Writer

Symphonic and chamber orchestra performed at the MCPS Festival Adjudication on Mar. 6 while band performed at the same event on Mar. 14.

The event was hosted by three judges and served as a grade for the class. Then the group was taken to another room to sight read music that they have never seen before, also for a grade. The judges’ scores were based off intonation, rhythm and dynamics of the performance and sight reading.

The Chamber and Symphonic Orchestras all earned superior ratings at this festival. The orchestras were conducted by the music teacher Carolyn Herman. “It was a crazy day, but I am proud of them. They do so well, both chamber winds and symphonic band,” Herman said.

The orchestras had been practicing in class every day for months. The chamber orchestra played two songs: Hoe Down by Aaron Copland and movement’s three, four and five of Antonín Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings in E major, Op.22. The chamber had mistakes in their performance, but they still received straight ones, the highest possible score from the judges. “Festival is a wonderful opportunity to practice performing and receiving constructive criticism from professional judges. During the process of preparing for festival, it’s amazing how you become closer with your musical colleges through group rehearsals,” senior Emily Yu said.

After the orchestra’s performance, they were taken into a separate room to sight read. The conductor, Herman, receives a song to sight read and will have two minutes to preview it while the members of the orchestra remain silent and wait. After the two minutes the conductor gets the chance to go over the music with the class for three minutes before playing it for the judge.

The sight reading portion of the festival is conducted so there will be no group that gets an unfair advantage over another. Symphonic orchestra played three songs: Fantasia Española, Herzwunden and Corelli Concerto Grosso no. 4. They also received straight ones on their performance. The festival was an opportunity for students to show their talent and interest in music. “Festival is a great experience for instrumental students to have during the school year. We got to listen to schools from around the county and had a chance to put our skills to the test,” senior Sara Dawood said.

On Mar. 14, the symphonic band and chamber winds performed at the festival conducted by Susan Eckerle and Herman. Symphonic band played two pieces: Metal and Sòlas Ané. Chamber winds played three pieces: A Hymn for The Lost and The Living, The Klaxon and La Forza Del Destino (The Force of Destiny) Overture. After each group played they also went through the sight reading process orchestra went through. “I felt that the festival was great. Both bands did very well,” junior Eric Chen said.