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Results are Music to their Ears

Music program earns Blue Ribbon for the ninth year

Sarina Harlow, Sports Editor

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Kettle Run’s music program is one of the best in the state and they have the title to prove it. For the ninth year in a row, Kettle Run was named a Blue Ribbon Music Department by

the Virginia Music Educators Association. In order to receive a blue ribbon rating, a school’s band, chorus and orchestra must all receive superior ratings at district festival. “Our concert assessment is similar to an SOL or a final exam,” Band director Elisabeth Deavers said. “This is a performance that is a culminating event for the work we have done for the whole school year.” In order to be named Blue Ribbon, each group has to do its part. “If the marching band earns a superior rating at marching assessment in the fall, and wind ensemble earns a superior rating at concert assessment in the spring, the KRHS Band program will earn the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association’s Honor Band Distinction,” Deavers said. “If wind ensemble, chamber orchestra, and mixed choir all earn superior ratings, KRHS will be a Blue Ribbon Music Department, which has happened for the past three years.” Achieving straight ones doesn’t come naturally, it requires much hard work and dedication to be reached. “Since I began teaching the band classes at the beginning of January, we have been working on a lot of things – including breathing, attacking and releasing a note together, and playing as a balanced ensemble. We have been working on these specific pieces since the middle of January,” says Mrs. Deavers. There were many challenges along the path to earning superior ratings that student’s experienced before the big day. “The most challenging part of assessment is having everyone healthy during rehearsals and the performance,” Deavers said. “Since assessment is always the beginning of March, and that time of year is a common time for illnesses, there are always some students missing during rehearsals. Once we all are together, we can have successful rehearsals and prepare as much as possible!.” “The most challenging part of preparations was that each piece had a different style and we had to transition to that style while playing it, thus having us to use different techniques and methods,” freshman Briana Loftus said. “I think that the most difficult part is having everyone play together, with having freshmen and seniors with their different skill levels, and having to get everyone on the same page in order to play together,” senior Gabby

Macari said. This year was especially challenging for Deavers. Deavers took over for former Band director Matt Yonkey after he left in January. “As a freshman, I feel so proud,” Loftus said. “After having to deal with Mr. Yonkey leaving, we were able to keep up the legacy with the new band director, Ms. Deavers. She was able to step up and take over for him when he left. She has been so hardworking to help all of us with the preparations.” Although it took a lot of work, Deavers and her team said it was all worth it. “Even though it’s a stressful event, I do enjoy taking my groups to assessment,” Deavers said. “It’s a great chance for us to show what we know and to receive feedback from the judges, who are current or retired teachers with many years of teaching experience. Their opinion means a lot as we strive to get better.”

 

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Results are Music to their Ears