Bonita Springs Middle: Silver Stallions back on the stage

Bonita Spring Middle School’s Concert Band, made up of primarily second and third year band students, participated in the Florida Bandmasters Association (FBA) Music Performance Assessment. Band members spent the past several months perfecting three pieces to perform for a set of three judges. The direct must select an overture and a march from an FBA approved list, as well as a third piece of their choice from the list to perform for the adjudicators. After their performance, the band members then visit a fourth judge to perform two sight reading pieces. The band members have three minutes to look over each piece, ask questions, or count out and finger the rhythms. They may not play their instruments during this time. They are then asked to play through each piece and are judged on their ability to present the manuscript on the first attempt.

The director may choose to perform at FBA for a rating or to perform for comments only. The students who have performed at solo ensemble festival have been exposed to a similar setting, playing for a judge. Since this was the first time the majority of the band students were exposed to this type of performance, St. John chose to present for comments only. Despite a couple of missing members from the already small group, a fresh set of braces and a broken arm, the 31 member band held their instruments up high and performed with the pride of seasoned players. Ms. St. John utilized a few first year, sixth grade students to fill out the instrumentation and doubled up some parts to fill in the smaller sections.

Participating in band requires more than a regular class. It combines the enhancement of an elective class, the homework (in the form of practice) of an academic course and the dedication of an extra-curricular activity. The band depends on each person in the group to perform to their best ability. The Silver Stallions Concert band received very good comments from all four of their judges and were encouraged by the comments. The judges look forward to seeing the BSMS Concert Band return to competition next year, as an even more experienced group.

The Bonita Middle Concert Band, along with the Beginning Band and the hand bell chorus will be performing their final concert of this school year on May 26 in the school cafeteria. All are welcomed to attend the free performance. The Concert Band will be performing will be performing “Jazz Cats,” by John Edmondson; “Name Those Classics,” an arrangement of 16 famous classics by Anne McGinty; and “Spider Pig,” from “The Simpson’s Movie,” along with several other selections.

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