There were two parts to Dream Flags for me: the Night Performance and the Daytime one. I’ll start with the night one.
On April 30th at 6:00, it was rather nice outside, perfect for a band concert. Symphonic Band and the Beginning Chorus were the only groups performing that night. My band played Wind Chimes (UGH!), Cyrstal Moon, The Tempest, and The Rainbow Connection. The Beginning Chorus, that my brother was in, sang Fireflies by Owl City and this really get-stuck-in-your-head-song called Everlasting Melody. Nothing really exciting happened at the night one.
Much, MUCH more on the other hand, though, the Daytime performance on May 1st was not that good…
First off, the two groups performing at this one were the Symphonic Band again and my advanced Chorus, the Soaring Voices. So I had to keep running back and forth between the two and tripping on all of the wires that went to the speakers and microphones because the setlist went band chorus band chorus band chorus like eight times!!. Secondly, we had to perform three separate times: 1st, 2nd, and 6th period, which I admit would be the best times to have it since those are my least favorite classes. Except for the fact it was like 90 degrees all day!!! By the second performance, everyone was sweating like pigs in a bacon factory! I could just feel myself getting a huge sunburn, which thank goodness turned into an awesome tan after the next few days. With all of the heat it made the chorus and the band sound hideous. So hideous that in the third perfomance, band had to cut out two of their songs since nobody was playing them right at all. My chorus sung (sang??) How Can I Keep From Singing, DreamKeeper, and Seasons of… LO-O-O-O-O-OVE!!!!! The best part of the whole, entire performance was seeing Mrs. Woods, Ashton Woods, and this other lady do their annual poetry dream-themed rap thang. Wow it was absolutely spectacular and beautiful. Finally, I got to hear a ton of my buddies who got picked read out their Dream Flags poems. All of them were really good, especially one of the ESE kids’ poems about how when he grows up he’s going to run a barbeque restaurant and help save all of our town!
Since I have Chorus 7th period, right after Dream Flags, I got to help put all of the risers and stands and equipment away. After that, my whole class made a huge line that wrapped around the room twice to get to the water fountain. That was pretty much my Dream Flags Ceremony for this year and boy, I can’t wait for next year!
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.