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CHS Concert Band brings home ISSMA Gold

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Both the Chesterton High School Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band traveled to Wheatfield, Ind., this past weekend to take part in the ISSMA Concert Band competition hosted by Kankakee Valley High School. Both groups received excellent marks, earning them Gold Superior ratings for their prepared selections. In addition to the receiving a Gold rating, the members of the Wind Ensemble received near perfect scores from all four judges. This numeric total earned them the highly coveted “With Distinction” award for performance excellence.

Both groups were required to prepare and perform three selections for a panel of three adjudicators. The members of the judging panel at such ISSMA events are charged with rating the performances of each ensemble using a detailed scoring process that breaks down into nine categories. Each of these nine categories are broken down still further into descriptors that help the judge become very detailed in his or her analysis of the performances. In addition to a written evaluation of the group’s performance, the bands also receive taped commentary from each judge containing positive comments for high musical and technical achievement, as well as suggestions to help the group improve their musicianship in the future.

After each group finished their respective performance on stage, they were required to take part in the sight-reading portion of the competition. The bands are given a piece of music appropriate for their particular experience level, and are asked to perform the piece for yet another judge who offers both a written and recorded evaluation of their preparation process, as well as their actual performance of the piece. “For most directors and their students, this part of the competition is the most stressful,” said CHS Director of Bands Michael Scheiber. The group is timed while the director and students discuss the technical and musical demands of the piece. The students can be instructed to clap through rhythms, or even sing specific parts that will present a challenge, but they can’t play a note on their instruments until told to do so by the judge. “Once the preparation time is over, we must play the piece straight through without stopping. During this performance, the judge continues to evaluate every aspect of the performance, and this process really reveals our student’s personal self-confidence as well as their musical skills,” Scheiber added.

The Wind Ensemble’s three selections for their stage performance included a distinctive piece featuring driving rhythms and contemporary harmonies by composer Elliot Del Borgo, entitled “Music for Winds and Percussion.” The group’s second selection was a slow, but powerful and dramatic piece by Belgian composer Jan Van der Roost called “Canterbury Chorale.” Their program ended with an exciting and up-tempo piece by well-known band composer Robert W. Smith entitled “Covenant.”

The CHS Symphonic Band also began their stage performance with a creation by composer Elliot Del Borgo entitled, “Ancient Air and Dance.” In contrast to this modern and sometimes dissonant work, the group’s second selection, “Benediction” by John Stevens, was a hymn-like piece that was originally written as a piece for tuba quartet, but it was later adapted for the modern concert band. The Symphonic Band closed their program with “Brick Street Encounter,” an overture that brought their performance to an exciting close.

Members of the CHS Symphonic Band include: Brian Bolin, Zach Caprous, Emily Cernick, Belle Chandler, Sydni Craig, Grace Davis, Nick DeHenes, Zach DeLaCruz, Tina Denfeld, Sophia Dewitt, Jacob Espinoza, Jacquelynn Evans, Tom Evans, Riley Franklin, Alysa Garriott, Arianna Hall, Seth Halpin, James Hawley, Hailey Hickey, Rowan Holsen, Brandon Jackett, Alex Janke, Samantha Johnson, Jack Jones, Olivia Kaiser, Henry Keller, Mike Lipinski, Hannah Maluvac, Elissa McNicholas, Devin Moser, Kaylee Mullins, Fred Owens, Spencer Ostrega, Alaina Patterson, Lyle Reyes, Hayley Sabol, Collin St. Mary, Jon Tannish, Madison Thorne, Logan Vermillion, Kayla Wehrman, Lisa Wratten.

Members of the CHS Wind Ensemble include: Kathryn Ausema, Jacob Barnes, Trey Bonnema, Diva Bridegroom, Kristina Carr, Jennifer Cedarstaff, Madison Comfort, Abigail Curdes, Nick DeHenes, Andrew Delich Ashley Dennis, Justice Eiden, Annabelle Engel, Jacob Espinoza, Riley Franklin, Autumn Friday, Seth Halpin, Matt Hampton, Alli Henry, Loren Hodgkiss, Rebekah Hoffman, Rowan Holsen, Lily Hull, Curtis Jones, Eddie Kaczmarek, Olivia Kaiser, David Kosakowski, Austin Krafft, Sam Kravitz, Michael Lipinski, Xavier Loving, Jackson Lucken, Bobby Maletta, Nathan McCall, Erin McNicholas, David Olsen, Spencer Ostrega, Yioti Panayi, Joel Peterson, Sophia Pizzi, Nathan Poczekay, Tom Pratt, Xaundra Rodriguez, Robert Rosenau, Joe Sabol, Kylie Sabol, Joe Stento, Laura Stepanovich, Garrett Swanson, Damien Thomas, Donna Trowbridge, Jaynellen Waelde, Sydney Walker.

Both the CHS Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble are under the direction of Michael Scheiber.

For additional information about this or any CHS Music Department event, contact the CHS Music Department at 983-3730.

 

Posted 4/17/2014