Last Friday, the Bulldog Band traveled to Southwest Baptist University for the MSHSAA State Large Ensemble Festival. This festival is similar to the band students taking the MAP Test or an EOC for band.

The Bulldog Band was the first band on the stage to start the afternoon performances. We performed for a large crowd that was made up of our family and friends, Nevada’s Band, Stockton’s Band, and some other band directors just watching the performances for the day….Oh yeah, and the three judges.

We wound up earning an Exemplary Rating (1 Rating) from one of the judges on the floor and two Outstanding Ratings (2 Ratings) from the other two judges. The band performed very well! They definitely peaked at the right time.

From the stage performance, the Bulldog Band headed to the “Sight Reading Room.” Anyone who has had to go to this portion of the State Adjudication knows it is not an easy room to conquer! Basically, the band is given six minutes of instructional time to teach a 3-4 minute piece of music. However, there can be no playing of any kind during that six minutes. Only discussion, counting, singing, tapping, sizzling, fingering, etc. Once the time is up, the director can’t give any audible instructions to the ensemble. Those that know me, know this is very difficult! However, I manage to make it work. The purpose is to see if the band is being taught how to be musicians or if they are regurgitating what they know for a judge.

At the end of our “Sight Reading” experience, the Bulldog Band was rewarded with an “Exemplary Rating” giving the band an overall “Exemplary Rating” for the MSHSAA State Large Ensemble! That makes three years in a row.