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The Octagon

Bands earn silver in Music Forum Festival after playing two contrasting pieces

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(Photo used by permission of Bob Ratcliff)
The winners of the outstanding music awards display their plaques.

On May 20, the high-school concert band, middle-school concert band and middle-school jazz band traveled to Ohlone College in Fremont for the Music Forum Festival and brought back the silver.

“They did a good job,” band teacher Bob Ratcliff said. “I can usually tell ahead of time where they are going to score; they were in the mid-80s.”

The high-school band scored an 86 out of 100, the middle-school concert band earned an 85, and the middle-school jazz band tallied an 83.

The judges based the scores on five categories: tone, technique, intonation, balance-blend and interpretation.

Each group played two contrasting styles of music.

“The high-school band performed ‘Mighty Mite March,’ which is a concert march, and ‘Rondo Picoso,’ which is a piece based on the rondo form (music with refraining patterns),” Ratcliff said.

“It also shifts through multiple time signatures and meters. It’s a fairly complex piece.”

(Photo used by permission of Bob Ratcliff)
The high-school band performs at the Music Forum Festival.

All the performances received high enough scores to win both the high-school and the middle-school bands silver medals. These are on display in the MP room.

In addition to group medals, some of the musicians won awards. Sophomore Alex Rogawski, seventh-grader Craig Bolman and the middle-school percussion section won outstanding music awards.

“I wasn’t really surprised about the individual awards. We have some strong musicians,” Ratcliff said.

Rogawski said they all played well.

“At some point, we each made a mistake or two, but in the end it all came together,” Rogawski said.

“Our strength was that everyone played their part well, and the band wasn’t carried by a single section or part. It was well balanced.

“Our weakness was that some people had trouble tuning to the rest of the band. At some points articulation and volume became issues, but it was pretty clean for the most part.”

After the performances, the bands visited the California’s Great America theme park nearby to celebrate.

By Spencer Scott

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