The Logan High School Symphonic Band has once again done the district proud with its performance at the Central Ohio District XV Large Group Adjudicated event on Friday, March 11.
The competition was held at Westerville South High School, where the 82 students that participate in the symphonic band earned the highest rating that can be awarded.
Bands can be rated as superior, excellent, good, fair, and poor based on their performance, and LHS has received yet another certificate in honor of their superior rating.
“I am very proud of our bandsmen, just very proud of them,” said LHS Band Director Jeff North.
Of the 29 years that North has worked with the Logan-Hocking School District, this is the 27th consecutive year that the high school band has earned a superior rating at the Large Group Adjudicated event.
North credits the series of outstanding ratings to the hard work of his students, and shared that it would not have been possible without the help of his assistant director Pam Price, who has on occasion led the band in the performances in his stead.
Large Group is a very challenging event where the band plays three prepared pieces for a panel of three judges. The band was well prepared, as they played three of the pieces that the high school concert band had performed for the winter concert in February.
According to the information provided by the judges, Judge Dale Schubert, from Defiance, observed that the band had a nice, solid tone throughout the band and the intonation was well controlled. He said the tempos were well chosen, but suggested they work for greater style and dynamic contrast before congratulating them on their performance and thanking them.
Judge Ray Walczuck from Brunswick on the other hand, complimented the band on their dynamic contrast as well as their speed changes. He cautioned them on their entrances, coaching them to watch the director closely so that they all come in together, and shared that he saw no problems with their notes and rhythms.
Judge David Burroughs of Kent had the following comments for the band, “Excellent concept of band tone. Interpretation of the music is a strong area for you. Many nice musical moments. Dynamic levels are well observed. Excellent attention paid to detail. Well rehearsed band! Excellent job tonight! I appreciate the musical ideas!”
After the prepared pieces are played, the band then faces one of the most difficult challenges a musician can endure; sight reading.
For the sight reading portion of the adjudicated performance, the students are handed a piece of music that they have never seen before. The students then have three minutes to read through the music, doing their best to familiarize themselves with the piece though they are not allowed to practice with their instruments at that point.
For the next three minutes, the director is given three minutes to go over everything he can with the students, pointing out as many key points for each section as possible in the time his is allotted.
When the time is up, the students pick up their instruments, and the band plays the song to the best of their abilities, reading the music as they go.
The band has been practicing their sight reading daily, with North giving them a new piece of music every day so they would get used to the process.
Despite the nerve-wracking ordeal, North stated that the musicians did not let themselves get off track and stayed very focused because they knew they would only get one shot.
Senior Miranda Thompson, who serves as the symphonic band’s librarian, has performed with the band every year of her high school career.
“Overall it’s a great experience,” said Thompson. “I think that all the practicing you do beforehand and practicing of the sight reading makes you grow as a musician.”
“It was great that all of our hard work paid off,” added senior Hannah Barlow, who is the vice-president of the symphonic band. “It’s a nBaNorth shared that he was very grateful to his assistant directors Pam Price, Ben Wright, and Tom Romine, stating that the band would not be what it has become without their help.