Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Day 95 - Band Superior Success and Pride

Today's post is from MWHS Band Director Gretchen Chilson 

Yesterday, we hosted our region’s band contest. 11 bands, from 5 schools, performed 11 concerts, in 5 hours. With around 400 extra students in the building, that’s a huge undertaking! My students’ primary job was to perform, and they did so – VERY well. Symphonic Band (mostly underclassmen) earned an Excellent rating, and our Wind Ensemble (auditioned band) performed the best I’ve ever heard them, earning the top “Superior” rating from all three judges. They had an awesome educational and musical experience, and learned a lot from the judges who worked with them. Wind Ensemble was so proud of their job well done that they were still glowing the next day in class!

As amazing as the performances were, they are only a small part of why I'm so proud of my students. They also served as hosts for bands from other schools, helpers for the judges, and worked at our concession stand. In short, the students hosted the entire event – and I got countless compliments on their work. Directors from other schools said, “Your kids were awesome -- They answered all my questions.” And, “They were everywhere, just offering to help!”

Did I mention that 3 of the band students found time in between their band responsibilities to go to dance practice so the Hawkettes are ready for state on Friday? Or that at least 3 of them played entire hockey games between band events (and they all won!)? It’s a great day to be a White Hawk, where coaches, advisors, and teachers can work together so the best students in the school can represent all of us.

But what really wowed the folks from other schools? They couldn’t believe that the principal and the activities director were directing traffic, holding doors, and generally helping the event to run smoothly! They loved how helpful our band booster parents were – dedicating countless hours to organize concessions and helpers for supervising homerooms for our guests. It was clear to our guests that Westonka believes in a team effort!

I often complain that we don’t have an auditorium. I mean, we held this major performing arts event in our GYM (displacing countless basketball practices – many thanks to those coaches, too). But, in typical MWHS fashion, the band students were classy, and stepped up to show everyone, including our guests from schools with fancy auditoriums, that we take pride in how we do things here --- and they left a lasting impression. I couldn't be more proud.

Here is a link to the recent Wind Ensemble Contest recording.

If you have a story that you would like to share, please email mwhspride@277apps.org for more information! We would love to hear from you!

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