Measuring up music; band, orchestra take on assessment day


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  The band and the orchestra are back again this spring season to perform in band and orchestra assessment day.  Band and orchestra assessment days are incredibly important to be a part of, as they determine how good a band/orchestra really is.  

  Judges will grade the musicians on their playing, appearance, tone, and much more.  After it is all said and done, the band and orchestra will receive a final score, which is the average of all of the scores they received on their other pieces.

    Orchestra director Mr. Heinly has spent much of the spring season preparing for this assessment day.  “My hope is that the students will be focused on all mental concepts and physical skills and techniques necessary to perform well in both aspects.”  The members of the orchestra and band must prepare mentally because a part of the assessment will be entering a room with a judge and performing a piece that they have never seen before.  

    Another determining factor in the scoring of the band and orchestra is the difficulty of the music played.  According to junior Anna Racine, “the music this year is definitely challenging but it’s not impossible.” The difficulty of the music is important; the directors must make sure the choices are up to the required level, or above.

    Though the individual piece itself may not be incredibly challenging, performing the pieces back to back may prove to be difficult.  “The major difference between this year and last year is that the pieces we are performing this year are very different styles, which can be even more challenging to perform,” says band director Mr. John Wojciechowski.  The musical line-up may start at lyrical and smooth, and then suddenly jump to fast-paced and energetic.

    The musicians are also required to learn two sets of music, one for assessment day and one for the spring concerts.  There may be a couple overlaps of songs between the performances, but there tend to be more new songs that need to be learned for the spring concert then one’s that are already perfected.

   Sophomore Erin Adams says, “We’re gonna try to switch it up, so that people that come to both get both (different sets of music).”  Though learning two sets of music is challenging, according to junior Nick Danielczyk, “it’s (learning two sets of music) not too hard if you put a little bit of effort in it outside of school.”  

    Both the band and the orchestra have high hopes that they will score well this year.  The orchestra, who scored so well that they moved on to states last year, hopes to achieve states again, with their new songs and new players as well.  The band will be performing on March 12th and the orchestra will be performing on March 15th.

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Measuring up music; band, orchestra take on assessment day