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story.lead_photo.caption Pea Ridge High School Band.

Special to The TIMES

The Pea Ridge Middle School and High School Bands earned the coveted "ASBOA Sweepstakes Award" for the second time in the school's history, and for the second year in a row. Last year, both bands earned the school's first ever sweepstakes award in ASBOA Region 6, and have now established a standard of excellence by earning the award in back-to-back years.

The Middle School Band under the direction of Matt McCool, in his ninth year at Pea Ridge, performed on Thursday afternoon, March 10, in the Arend Arts Center on the campus of Bentonville High School. The band performed three tunes. The first was a march entitled "Fighting Falcon March," which is required of all bands that participate in region concert assessments across the state. They followed the march with "Medieval Legend" and closed with "Serengeti Dreams." A three-person judging panel consisting of Sean Carrier, director of bands at Southside High School in Fort Smith, Bart Ghent a retired high school band director from Colony, Texas, and Aaron Durham, a band director from Fort Smith Northside High School, were there to critique and rate each band that performed. They awarded the Middle School Band with a first division rating of "Superior," the highest rating that a band can receive. After performing on stage, the band immediately went to another room and sight read a piece of music they had never before seen for a single judge, Darrell Smith a retired band director from UALR. They received a superior rating. In order for a band to earn a sweepstakes award, they have to receive a superior rating in both the stage performance and sight reading.

The High School Band, under the direction of new director Kevin Hume, also achieved a sweepstakes award for completing the same accomplishments as the Middle School band. However, there is an added requirement that a high school band has to fulfill in order to qualify for a sweepstakes award, which is to earn a first division superior rating at the region marching assessment in the fall semester in addition to the region concert assessment ratings. The band performed "March of the Irish Guard," fulfilling the march portion of their program. They followed the march with "Two British Folk Songs," and ended with "Angelic Festival." They performed on Thursday, March 10, later in the evening. Performances of both bands were broadcast live on KURM Radio.

The bands will spend the final quarter of the school year participating in solo and ensemble contests in April. They will also prepare for their annual Spring Concert, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, in the high school gym, and will include the sixth-grade Beginning Band and the High School Jazz Band.

The high school band will also be attending an invitation music festival in Kansas City at the World's of Fun Amusement Park on Saturday, May 7. A new event for the band program will be a three-day summer camp for the sixth- and seventh-grade band students at the school June 1-3, where they will spend each day with guest band directors taking music classes, rehearsing as a group and having a good time with lots of activities. Some of the high school band students will be "camp counselors" and have an opportunity to teach as well. The camp will end with "Band Olympics," in Blackhawk Stadium, where the students will form teams and compete in percussion discus with used drum heads, flute javelin, clarinet archery, tuba shot put, trumpet baton relay, as well as other events, using instruments that are beyond repair

Community on 03/23/2016

Print Headline: Blackhawk bands earn sweepstakes

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