The Burlingame High School band spent the last two months hard at work preparing for the Spring Concert and the California Music Education Association (CMEA) festival.
The festival consisted of three components: the performance, sight-reading, and a clinic. At the performance, bands played three pieces they had been working on for a panel of adjudicators. They then moved on to sight-reading portion, during which they had to play a piece of music they had never seen before with no time to rehearse. After, they went to the clinic, where they get feedback from one of the adjudicators. The bands were scored on their performance and sight-reading on a rubric totaling to 100 possible points.
Freshman clarinet-player Alex Edwards was excited for her first high school CMEA festival.
Though she had been to a CMEA festival before, in middle school, she said that in high school, both the upperclassmen and the director, David Kimura, were “more bent on doing well.”
The Concert Band’s three performance pieces were Fanfare Ode and Festival, by Bob Margolis; On the Hymnsong of Philip Bliss, by David Holsinger; and Into the Storm, by Robert W. Smith. The Wind Ensemble played Toccata, by J.S Bach; October, by Eric Whitacre; and Arabesque, by Frank Ticheli.
Senior clarinet player Malia Smith said the best test of her skills as a musician was the sight-reading portion.
“Anyone can perfect anything with time, but doing it that first time is what’s really impressive.”
Junior trumpet-player Gracie Kober disagreed, saying the “performance is most important to see how far we have come together and what our hard work leads up to.”
Overall, all the musicians that I interviewed agreed that Mr. K has used a lot of rehearsal time to get the band ready. Smith said he’s very good about identifying the parts of a new piece that have the potential to be hard so that players can practice at home, allowing rehearsals to flow more smoothly, and use class time to focus on what Smith said is the hardest part of playing in a band: blending and balancing the different sounds that make up the complexity of music.
Check in with anyone in band to hear about their CMEA scores!