Manitou Band Earns “Excellent” Rating at CHSAA Festival

Sita Ahlen, Sports and Activities Editor

The symphonic band piled on the bus early Friday morning and waited nervously for their arrival at Wasson High School in Colorado Springs, for “Festival” hosted by CHSAA. Here, they would perform a series of tasks and eventually be judged on their playing abilities.

The band filed into the high school and were directly led into a warm-up room.

The hectic morning caused their warm-up time to be cut drastically, and the band was only able to practice the very beginning of both of their songs.

Minutes before the band was scheduled to perform, the band director, Terrence Leve, noticed a lack of instruments for the percussionists. The band sat in silence on stage as the Wasson High School spectators went in search for instruments.

The band played “Overture for Winds” by Charles Carter first, then immediately led into “The Thunderer” by John Philip Sousa, both of which were performed for three judges.

After their performance, a judge came to the stage to give them constructive criticism. His main point was to “relax and lighten up” because they played heavily during points of allegro. The judge seemed to enjoy their performance and had only a few criticizing points. Other judges thought they had a full ensemble sound, and loved the music choices but wanted the band to improve balance between the sections.

Del Brickley, a CHSAA judge, was hired to judge the sight reading. Sight reading was graded in two components, one being preparation, and the other performance. The band filed into a room and were given a random song, titled, “Introduction and Allegro” by Maurice Ravel. Leve then had 6 minutes to prepare the band on how to play the song.

It was graded within three categories: if they finished the song, if they got 90-95 percent rhythm and notes correct and then actual musical aspect including precision, dynamics, etcetera. The band finished the song, scored close to 90 percent on their rhythm, and the judge really appreciated the band’s dynamics, earning them an acceptable score on all portions.

The CHSAA hosted Festival ranks bands based on ability, with a rating of one through five, one being the best, and five the worst. Manitous Symphonic band was awarded straight twos, which is considered to be an excellent rating.
The band will be preparing for their next concert on May 10th. They will be performing one song they played at Festival, “The Thunderer.”