JEFFERSON — After months of hard work, preparation and practice, the Jefferson Area High School Symphonic Band achieved their goal – the honor of receiving a Superior score of “I” at district contest which was held March 14 at Howland High School. Not only did the band receive a composite score of I, but they received a I from each of the four judges at contest. The phenomenal feat of receiving straight ones at contest has not occurred in at least three decades according to the available files at JHS, which date back to 1984.
The Falcon band began their performance with a march called “Flying Cadets” written by Karl King; followed by “Rampage” by Todd Stalter; and “Phantom Herd (Across the Western Skies)” by Robert W. Smith. Band director Fred Burazer said the students played the pieces with confidence and seemed to truly impress the judges, the audience and even their director. He said that the students had put a lot of their time into practicing the music, as well as focusing on musical skills like tuning and articulation. He explained that by working hard at these skills, the musicianship and listening skills of the band were heightened, allowing them to earn a “I” from each of the three judges critiquing them on the pieces.
The band then advanced to the sight-reading portion of district contest. During sight-reading, the students are given a new piece of music with eight minutes to study it, and they are then asked to perform it in front of a judge. The band performed the composition “Of Castles and Kings” by Rob Romeyn and were able to impress the judge, who awarded the band with another Superior score of “I.”
After their performances, the Falcon band eagerly waited for the judges to submit their scores and comments. When Burazer received the scores nearly 45 minutes after the band’s performance, he was overjoyed to announce the news.