Winter a time to polish skills

By Jan Ebert

Editor’s note: This is part 1 of 2 columns.

With all the “snow days,” bad weather, and exams, January and February have prevented a lot of music practice sessions for the young people of the county.

However, they are moving right ahead into some challenging events coming up.

Currently, many young people have prepared solos and ensembles for the OMEA (the Ohio Music Education Association) District 11 adjudicated events. The high school students participated on Saturday, February 9. Grades seven and eight will present their solos and ensembles on Saturday, April 13. Large groups (high school bands and choirs) will appear on March 8 and 9.

You may wonder about OMEA and the “adjudicated events.” OMEA was founded by a group of bandmasters in 1924, and has existed in one form or another since that time. Large conventions of music educators statewide have been planned annually for much of that time. Each year the OMEA provides a Professional Growth Conference, and arranges, through the various districts, Marching Band, Solo and Ensemble and Large Group (high school and junior high) adjudicated events. Formerly, these were called “contests.” OMEA also promotes District Honors Bands and Choirs.

Our particular district used to be District 10. I am unaware of any “contests” held in our county, but District 10 did hold a professional conference at the Rosewood School in the early 1960’s.

Perhaps the readers recall music contests. They never were a competition. The performers are not competing with other persons or schools. They are working to make the best performance of their selected music, In essence, they are competing with the music. The judges are certified to judge in various areas, grade the interpretation of the music selections and present a rating for the performance. Ratings range from 1 (superior) to 5.

District 11 (Champaign, Darke, Logan, Miami and Shelby counties) planned for Honors Band and Honors Choir programs this year. Unfortunately, The Honors Choir day of rehearsal and concert was cancelled due to the weather.

The Honors Band did perform as scheduled at Troy High School. The only participants for each group whose names were given to me are from Urbana:

District 11 High School Honors Choir: Sydney Mefford, Christina Moore, Katie Trudo, Paige Deere, Troy Brown, Brandon Ebert, Ben Ofori and Phillip Bean

District 11 Honors Band: Justin Brown (senior), alto saxophone; Annie Saylor (junior), flute; and Aidan Leonard (freshman), clarinet.

There are also other bands and orchestras for which local students have been selected. Currently, The Ohio State University Honors Scarlet 8th Grade Band includes Samantha Schwaderer (flute) of West Liberty-Salem and Lexi Marsh (clarinet) of Urbana.

Continuing members of other select groups include: Becky Preston (viola) of Urbana, Springfield Youth Symphony program; Caitlin Burchett (clarinet) of Mechanicsburg, Capital University Cadet Band; and Mary McDavid (trumpet) of Urbana, St. Brigid School in Dublin, Watterson Honors Band.

It is hoped that the next “The Music Stand” column will contain the names and ratings received by the young musicians from our county at the District 11 Adjudicated Event.

By Jan Ebert

Jan Ebert is a retired music educator in Champaign County.

Jan Ebert is a retired music educator in Champaign County.