Area News | Home | Marketplace | Community

Return to Archived Stories

Paynesville Press - April 13, 2005

Band, choirs earn top ratings

By Michael Jacobson

The PAHS Band, the PAHS Mixed Choir, and the PAHS Treble Choir all earned state superior ratings, the highest available, at the large-group vocal and instrumental contest last week. The competition - featuring 11 bands and 13 choirs from nine school districts - was held at PAHS on Thursday, April 7.

The PAHS Band received the highest score of the 11 bands at the contest; the PAHS Mixed Choir received the second highest score of the 13 choirs; and the PAHS Treble Choir had the seventh highest score among the choirs.

In all, three bands earned state superior ratings, and seven choirs earned state superior ratings.

band playing PAHS was the only school to have all its ensembles earn state superior ratings. Annandale, Eden Valley-Watkins, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, Maple Lake, and New London-Spicer also had choirs that earned state superior ratings, and Annandale and NL-S also had state superior bands. (Both Annandale and NL-S also had another choir and another band that did not earn state superior ratings.)

The PAHS Band played a concert on Monday, April 4, and in large-group contest on Thursday, April 7. Pictured are (front) Laura Schaefer and Tarin Beireis; (middle) Katie Schlick, Rachel Schmidt, and Meredith Schaumann; (back) Val Callenius, Jeremy Mohr, and Celia Freiler.

Director Ken Vork said he was so thrilled with the band's performance that he had trouble sleeping on Thursday night. The band played "Jubilance" by Caesar Giovannini, scored for band by Wayne Robinson. Though they did not have a great practice in the middle school gym on Thursday morning, said Vork, the band played terrific at the competition on Thursday afternoon. "When it came to the performance, they rose to a new level," said Vork. "They had never played it better." Judges' comments included: good exciting feeling to the music; well rehearsed (you handle your parts very well); very mature sound; tone quality allows for excellent blending of sounds; and very musical performance. "You play with great feeling and emotion in each sound you make," wrote a judge. "Keep it up!"

"I greatly enjoyed our clinic," wrote another judge. "I think you are a terrific ensemble. Keep doing what you are doing!"

The PAHS Band also performed "Jubilance" at their concert on Monday, April 4.

The PAHS Band received scores of 38, 37, and 35, totalling 110. Annandale was next with a total score of 108.5. To earn state superior honors, ensembles needed to earn a score of 35 (out of 40) from at least two of the three judges.

Groups are judged in the contest on eight performance factors (worth five points each): tone quality, intonation, rhythm, balance/blend, technique, interpretation/musicianship, diction/articulation, and other performance factors.

The PAHS Mixed Choir sang three songs: "Ave Verum Corpus" by Mozart; "Every Night When the Sun Goes In" arranged by Linda Spevacek; and "Rock-A My Soul" arranged by Kirby Shaw.

They scored 38, 37, and 33 from the three judges, totalling 108. A choir from New London-Spicer earned the top total score among the choirs with 109.

trumpets Comments about the Mixed Choir included: very pleasing sound; nice blend/balance in spite of small number of men; stunning unison by the ladies; really enjoyed the voices; and lots of talent here.

Melanie Koerner, Sam Bayer, and the other trumpeters played during the band concert on Monday, April 4.

"You look good, you sound good, and your performance is very musical," wrote one judge.

The PAHS Treble Choir received scores of 36, 35, and 30. They sang "Amazing Grace/Pachelbel's Canon" by Jean Anne Shafferman; "All Things Bright and Beautiful" by John Rutter; and "Hallelujah, Get on Board!" by Rollo Dilworth.

Judges' comments about the Treble Choir included: awesome blend; very well prepared; clear tone; excellent unison; and fun to watch. "You are such a fun group to work with," wrote one judge. "Keep singing."

After their performance, each ensemble worked with one of the judges to improve their playing.

"I was very pleased with how (the choirs) did," said director Cheryl Bungum. "The judges really do a great job in giving them input, reinforcing what I've said and giving them new ideas."

In all, 900 students from nine high schools came to PAHS on Thursday for the large-group contest.

Contact the author at   •   Return to News Menu

Home | Marketplace | Community