Last friday, instead of going to my dreaded math class, I stepped into the band room at my school to find everyone jumping around and being excited. We were going to Pensacola High School for our MPA’S!!!
MPA stands for Musical Performance Assessment. My band director, Mrs. Bumbarger, said it was similar to a band class FCAT, and boy was she right! The MPA is where your band group travels to a designated area, ours was Pensacola High School, and they perform one, or more than one, piece of music that, hopefully, you’ve practiced. Once you have finished playing all of your pieces, there are three judges that judge or, assess, your performing skills like tone quality, tempo control, and dynamics.
Next, you go into a completely different room. The sightreading room where you and your group sightread and play two or three pieces of music. Both of my band directors stressed out about the sightreading way too much. They were going crazy about how “hard” it would be. Even the Concert band (the band directly lower than Symphonic) said it was super-easy! My favorite part about sightreading was that I was best friends with one of the judges, her name is Catherine, so I’m pretty sure that was what made our band get a Supierior.
You must be thinking, “Wait, what!?! You got a Supierior in sightreading!?!?!” Uh-huh! In fact, my band got one Excellent and-wait for it-three Supieriors!
(Just in case you don’t know, the judges rate your performance like a test, A,B,C,D, or F. The only way to get a Supierior is if all three judges give you A’s. An Excellent is if, like, one judge gave you an A and the other two gave you B’s)
All in all, though, my most favorite part of the MPA’s was the bus ride home. Jake the trombone player gave an “inspirational” speech and then he started singing, “The wheels on the bus go round and round!” and, “Baby, you’re a fiiiiiiirework!”. He has definetly become one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and absolutely made my day.