Most Viewed Stories
Superior music, superior bands
Local schools score high at CMEA
Superior-rated music is what Porterville, Monache and Strathmore high schools received Friday during Day 2 of the 2013 California Music Educators Association Music Festival.
The two-day event is a gauge for band programs and considered one of the most important musical events of the year for band directors.
“There’s no way to describe the pressure. You get this one chance to show three experts the quality of your teaching,” said Jim Kusserow, PHS band director. “There’s a tremendous amount of pressure band directors put on themselves.”
Participating and performing at peak, whenever needed, builds character in the students for life skills down the road, Kusserow said.
On Thursday, elementary and middle school bands took the stage. Friday was dedicated to high school bands. One by one, the bands took the spotlight, starting with Orosi, Exeter, Granite Hills, Central and Monache high schools.
Playing Henry Fillmore’s “His Honor,” Eric Whitacre’s “Lux Aurumque” and “The Ascension” by Robert W. Smith — Monache ended the morning by capturing a unanimous superior rating.
“I am really proud of the Marauder Band. I challenged the band musically this year and we presented the most difficult set of music since I have been director,” said band director Justin Adams. “The students rose to the challenge and delivered a memorable performance. These students worked many hard hours in the classroom and at home to earn the recognition they received today.”
The afternoon proved just as exciting, with Strathmore and Porterville also capturing superior ratings. Other participating bands received excellent and superior ratings.
“Porterville is so fortunate to have such an extraordinary concert venue,” said Greg Taylor, a 1982 PHS graduate and music educator in Southern California. “This is my first time back in 30 years and I am enjoying this.”
Next to him was Snider Hendrickson, a local band director, watching students he taught in elementary band; and Reynald Rutledge, a 1955 PHS graduate who marched in Frank “Buck” Shaffer’s first Porterville band. Rutledge said he attends every chance he gets, year after
Contact Esther Avila at 784-5000, Ext. 1045. Follow her on Twitter @Avila_recorder.