Music festival displays talent of school bands
One by one, local bands from elementary to high school took the stage last week at the annual California Music Educators Association Music Festival here. While we really don’t need to be reminded, the event showed how impressive the music programs are locally, from those small rural elementary bands to the big bands of Porterville, Monache and Granite Hills.
As reporter Esther Avila pointed out with her stories, it is the feeder schools — Bartlett, Sequoia, Pioneer and even Hope, Rockford, Carl Smith and others — that have constantly supplied the local high schools with talented musicians to carry on the rich traditions at each. Even Summit Charter Collegiate Academy is getting into the act, with its small band earning a superior rating.
The mural in Centennial Park is a tribute to the rich band tradition here, a tradition that is carried on today by children and even grandchildren of those before them, and while that mural is mostly about the high schools, not to be forgotten are those middle schools and elementary schools.
Like honor students and athletes, hours of study and work go into making a successful band. And, it is not just the students. The Porterville area has been blessed with some of the best and most dedicated band instructors in the nation. However, it has also been blessed with parents who have worked with and encouraged their children to be the best band members they can be. During the fall and football season, the bands spend hours and hours going over their routines and preparing for fall parade and field competitions, where Porterville schools outshine most others. This time of year the bands are in the orchestra mode to perform at events like the CMEA and their spring concerts, which will be sprouting up here soon.
If you have not seen or heard a local band lately, take in one of the spring concerts. You will be impressed, just as we have over the years, especially at the annual Veterans Day parade, when they all are so impressive.