WCHS Concert Band receives rating at OMEA Conest

Chris Lynch, Class of 2018

The WCHS Concert Band, under the direction of Band Directors Laura Bukosky and Brandon Schick, performed Friday, March 10 at 9:45 p.m. at Kettering Van Buren Middle School for Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) District (XII) Large Group contest and recieved an Excellent (II) rating. The band has been preparing three pieces (songs) to play in front of a few judges to be scored/rated on a scale of I-V (I being the highest) and critiqued.

The concert band has been preparing since early January. They have been practicing each day during seventh period and they rehearsed after school a few times. OMEA requires groups to play three pieces, one march (a song with strong regular rhythms), a song from a list provided by OMEA, and a song of the director’s choice. The played Cumberland Falls Overture by Brant Karrick which takes listeners to Cumberland Falls in Kentucky, the “Niagara of the South,” Amparito Roca, a Spanish-style march by Jaime Texidor , and Workforce, describing the rhythm of a workday by Chris M. Bernotas.

Along with the three prepared pieces, the band had to sight read a piece. The members have four minutes to look over the piece by themselves, four minutes to recieve tips from the director, then they play the song. to look over and prepare themselves to play a song that they’ve likely never seen before. They’re scored and critiqued by a different judge for this portion.

The rating system used by OMEA is set up to put a rough assessment (accompanied with comments for several specific categories such as rhythmic accuracy or dynamic/volume contrast). Rating I is the highest a group can get, an outstanding performance with very few technical errors and exemplifying a truly musical expression. This rating should be reserved for the truly outstanding performance. Rating II-IV are used to describe bands that have varying errors and skill. Rating V is a very poor performance that indicates deficiencies in most of the essential factors and indicates that much careful attention should be given to the fundamentals of good performance. This rating should be used sparingly and only when it is possible to cite major faults according to OMEA’s website.

The band as whole was excited to receive a rating for what they had been preparing for. The rating and comments will allow the directors to work on specific things to make the band better. Many band members have said that Cumberland Falls Overture is the hardest due to contrasting time signatures, rhythms, and styles throughout the song. The band performed their preview