Jaimee's Life Blog

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You’re probably thinking, “Didn’t you just have one of these?” Actually, that was just our band MPA. The FPMS Soaring Voices (my chorus) have been preparing for this event for months. Ever since our Christmas concert! But since I’ve already explained the MPA shebang here, I’ll just give you the deal for the Chorus MPA.

Yesterday, we got our fancy, long, black, polyester, sequined, really low-cut dresses to wear as our girls’ uniforms. While the boys got to wear these really pretty tuxedo’s that made them look absolutely fine, in my opinion. You know, the kind with the pirate shirt and cumberbund. Also, the girls had to wear their hair up out of their face so that they wouldn’t play with it. Thank God Mrs. Horne wasn’t as strict as Mrs. Bumbarger, though because in band, we had to wear our hair, like, up up in a bun. But, in chorus we were allowed to wear ponytails so I did because I Hate wearing my hair up, especially in a bun. Buns make me feel like an old lady.

Our transportation to the Mrytle Grove Baptist Church was a simple school bus with a simple bus driver unlike the usual: a charter bus with a luxorious driver. But, I would actually much rather prefer the simple bus driver, so it was nice. When we stepped into the church, I couldn’t believe how quiet it was. We were the first choir there. Soon 4 other choirs showed up but, I’m not sure which schools they came from.

The first group to perform looked like they had kids from elementary and high school with them which was weird because I was pretty sure this was supposed to be an all middle school judging, but now I’m not sure. Their uniforms were maroon polo’s with black skirts and slacks. Classic attire. They were good.

Next was us. We properly marched into the warm-up room for about ten minutes then strode right back out to the stage in the auditorium of the church. With the light shining bright in our eyes, we looked down upon the Queen of Chorus, Mrs. Horne as she conducted us through our songs. The way we sang sounded more beautiful than all of our concerts and rehearsals put together. I could tell that everyone on the risers were really putting their all into this. It felt like we were all family. It felt glorious. After what seemed like only 30 seconds of Heaven we were already gracefully stepping off the risers back into our church seats. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced. I don’t think any word on this planet could decribe how I felt. Pure singing magic.

We listened to the next two choirs. My favorite part was when the one choir sang Battle of Jericho. They were really awesome sounding. After about an hour, we exited the building, loaded onto the bus, and headed back to FPMS.

When we got back to FPMS, the seventh graders had already missed their lunch so they had to eat with the eighth graders. After that, it was pretty much sixth period by the time everyone got done changing and eating. The rest of the day went on like nothing had ever happened.

Finally, the two songs we sung were Gloria Festiva and Ubi Caritas. Both are really good songs and I just loved singing them. There was only one judge this time and no sightreading. Very unlike the band MPA. But the good thing was the judge happened to be extremely nice and we got a…SUPERIOR!!!!!! Everyone started screaming on the bus when they heard this. Mrs. Horne was like, “We do NOT do that on the bus!!”

This concludes the Chorus MPA’s until 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.

In my Band class, we happen to be doing the hardest song I’ve ever had to play on the clarinet for MPA’s! It’s called Wind Chimes. At first I thought that this probably would not turn out very good. Certainly not Superior-material for the biggest middle-school band in Escambia County.

But, I fixed all my errors after the thousandth time so I now have it down pat and I’m so happy!!!

Wind Chimes by John Kinyon

Lots of things have been happening lately in chorus.

1) We are going to the MPA’s!!!!!

2) We’ve got some new music:

2.1 Gloria Festiva

2.2 Ubi Caritas

3) Mrs. Horne will be singing (and playing on the piano) the Phantom of the Opera!!!!!!!!!!!

4) We are participating in the Dream Flags Ceremony!!! And we will be singing…

Seasons of Love (from RENT)!!!!!!!

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