Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
Band Students Ready for Upcoming Challenges
Parents of Cuthbertson’s High School’s band program recently got a bird’s eye view of what students have to go through during their sight-reading performances. At the March 4 band’s “Works in Progress” presentation, Band Director Todd Ebert invited parents to join their sons and daughters of both the Symphonic and Blue Note Winds bands on stage to witness the rigors of playing a musical piece proficiently within minutes. Students are preparing for the upcoming NC Music Performance Assessment slated for April 3 and 4 at Hickory Ridge High School. Parents stood and looked over their child’s shoulders as they received the new musical pieces.
“During the sight-reading portion, the students are not permitted to play their instruments,” Mr. Ebert said, explaining all instruction must be verbal. “During the brief five-minute instructional time, we look for things in the music that would be tricky such as key or time signature changes. We identify union band parts and those places where sections might be playing alone,” he said. “I always address the musical style and the notation in the music that would involve dynamic changes or style changes. We finger some of the parts also.”
Mr. Ebert is looking forward to seeing the students’ performance at MPA. “We do not think of it in terms of completion. There are no competitive guidelines other than we are in competition to outdo ourselves from the previous year. I feel that the music I have given the students is certainly challenging and they will need to grow as both an ensemble and as individual players in order to be successful in their performance,” he said.
In addition to the sight-reading program, the Symphonic Band also performed Karl King’s “General Lee,” Percy Grainger’s “Australian Upcountry Tune,” Forrest Buchtel’s “Fortune’s Promise” and Charles Carter’s “Overture for Winds.” The Blue Note Winds performed John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” Gustav Holst’s “Hammersmith,” and David Gillingham’s “Concertino for Four Percussion and Wind Ensemble.”
The band will be traveling to Chicago this spring to participate in the prestigious Percy Grainger Chicago Festival Performance from April 16 - 21. In addition to visiting famous Chicago landmarks and attractions, students will attend a clinic with the internationally-renowned conductor, Col. Arnald Gabriel; an evening performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a tour of the Conn-Selmer Bach brass/Selmer woodwind instrument production facility.
Written by: Band parent Nancy Nicholas / Photo courtesy of Olivia Ferrill
Posted: Mar 25, 2014 by Paula White