Why Band Students Aren’t Feeling Very “Excellent” 14

Gavin Mercado

On March 7th, a long-awaited Band field trip took advanced band students to Kennedy High School. This wasn’t just any regular field trip, it was a band festival.

To those of you who aren’t in band, a festival is a field trip in which the band students go to get “graded,” if you will, on how well they play.

The bus came and took the students during first lunch with all of them having butterflies in their stomachs.

When the band students arrived at Kennedy High School for the festival, they were sent to unpack their instruments and practice in a large waiting/practice room. The students practiced their three songs, “Bryce Canyon” “Overture,” “Gentle Winds,” and “Latin Fire.” After the practice room, they were ready to go on stage in front of the judges.

The stage was very bright, yet the theater itself was dark so that the students could not see the judges talking about their performance. During the performance, Jackie Ajucum said that she was “very nervous.”

After the band students played their three songs, they moved on to sight reading. Sight reading is where one of the judges hands your band a song that has never been seen before, and it must be learned in five minutes. From there, they judge you on how you play the new song for the first time.

After the sight reading portion, the students waited for the bus to come to return to school. When the bus returned to Stacey Middle School with the students on board, the band students were notified of their rating. Which to many was disappointing. It was an Excellent.

An Excellent rating isn’t necessarily bad. In fact, it is the second best rating you can get (if you don’t include Unanimous Superior), but Jenna Montenez said that she, “. . . was disappointed . . .” but, “. . . noticed some flaws while playing.”

Later, the band students found out that they did indeed receive a Superior for the sight reading portion. However, when they were playing their three songs, the judges voted “Excellent, Excellent, and Good” Many, including Jackie and Jenna, were shocked to have gotten a Good rating. They had much higher expectations.

However, the band students did hear that the band that played after them received an overall “Good.” So, it could have been that the judges were rating bands a little bit harsher than usual.

The zero period band students along with a couple of other students who do extra band activities are going on another festival on March 27th. Hopefully, they can get a Unanimous Superior and make up for the Excellent. Let’s go Stacey Band!

Are you happy with Stacey’s Excellent? Do you think Stacey’s band should be disappointed, or are they being too harsh on themselves? Let us know in the comments below! Until next time Cougars, have a great day!

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