I am beyond proud of our Bulldog Band. As some of you may know, we traveled to Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar on Friday, April 7, for the annual MSHSAA State Large Ensemble Festival.

These festivals are held across the state by districts. There are two parts to the State Large Ensemble process. The first part is what we call the “Prepared Selection Performance.” Each band is to prepare at least two pieces of music, of varying styles, to play for a panel of three judges. The judges are selected by MSHSAA and are highly respected Missouri band directors.

The second part is the “Sight Reading Performance.” Here, the band goes into a closed room, from the public, and is given a piece of music. The ensemble is given six minutes to look through the piece, as well as discuss and rehearse, without playing, the piece of music. Once the six minute preparation is complete, then the ensemble plays the piece of music straight through. The director is not allowed to give verbal instructions to help the students if/when they get lost in the piece. It is a tough skill, but one we have practiced everyday since January.

I am proud to announce that we received three “1-Exemplary” ratings from the each of the judges in the “Prepared Selection Performance” and a “2-Outstanding” rating in the “Sight Reading Performance.” Overall, these average together for an MSHSAA State Large Ensemble rating of exemplary, or a 1 Rating.

Our band was the first band in the afternoon session, and was the first band of the day to receive a “1 Rating!” The Band Director from Stockton, Marvin Mannring, came in to watch our performance and was very impressed with our students their preparation! I also got stopped by Dr. Brian Hopwood, who directs the SBU Concert Band, and he said that it was the best performance of the day, so far.

We have a lot to be proud of with these students and our school. I hope your Monday goes as well as mine is going. Thank you all for your kind words and welcoming me to this district. I also want to thank you for your continued support of the band program.

Jordan K. White

Director of Bands