Our Band Earns a Overall Superior Rating at Assessments

The concert band brought home a Superior rating after the recent competition in Blacksburg.

“This is our version of an SOL test where the group’s three-song-concert is judged by three professionals on stage and one judge for sight-reading performance,” Mr. Earl Brooks, band instructor, said. “In sight-reading, the students are handed music that they have never seen before. They can work on it for seven minutes without playing the instruments, then they have a single run to play the music together,” he said. 

The band got all ones from the stage which is the highest possible rating at the assessment. They also earned a two in sight-reading which is considered excellent.

“I checked the Virginia Band & Orchestra Directors Association website and the grades go back to 2002; this means this is the first overall Superior Rating in at least twenty years,” Brooks said.

The band was very, very excited.

 “I tried to keep a normal face so no one would know before I told them on the bus,” Brooks said.  “This was a combination of five years of work with the band and this assessment is very important to the band,” he said. “We hope that we will achieve this goal again next year,” Brooks said. “A memory I will carry forever is when the band cheered a nervous band before performing sight-reading, and that they achieved this goal on my birthday.” he said.

“We’ve been striving for this goal for five years, and we’ve finally reached it,” Ciara Keen, junior,  said. “I’m very proud of my band family and how hard they all have worked to get to this moment,” Keen said. “My favorite memory of the whole day would have to be performing; all of us were really nervous before going in to perform. Some of us have already done this before, but most of us have not,” Keen said.  “Once we all got seated on stage, all of our nerves and chills went away, by that time we were ready to perform.”

 “My favorite memory would have to be seeing how big the school that they were performing at was and singing songs on the way back to the school,” Josh Martin, junior,  said. “I definitely did not expect such a high score, but it felt awesome to get such a good score,” Martin said. “I’m glad to have spent time with the band and us all sharing this moment of glory together; they are definitely like a big family to me,” Martin said.

“I hope people will congratulate the students who participated,” said Brooks. Many of them have been with him since middle school, and they have been working for this amazing score to happen for five years.