Bands from all over the Bay Area compete in CMEA festival

CVHS hosted 24 bands and orchestras from all over the Bay Area on April 17-18 in the Center for the Arts. The eight middle school and 16 high school groups performed as part of the California Music Education Association (CMEA) festival.

The festival gathered young musicians and allowed them to perform in front of judges and receive evaluations. Judges also wrote comments to help the groups improve the quality of their performances. The groups were rated poor, fair, good, excellent, or superior.

The more advanced groups participated in a sight reading clinic where they had to sight read a piece of music for the first time with no previous preparation. These clinics are especially challenging for not only the student musicians but for the ensemble directors as well.

Four groups from CVHS performed in the festival. Two of the groups, Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, received “unanimous superior” ratings from the judges. Chamber Orchestra received a “superior” rating, and Symphonic Band received an “excellent” rating.

All CVHS musical ensembles are under the direction of Steven Hendee, who is also the vice president of CMEA.

“The groups played really challenging music that stretched all individual members of the ensemble,” Hendee said. “The students showed tremendous growth while learning the music.”

Since CVHS hosted the festival, many students and parent volunteers worked to make it a success. “The festival went incredibly smoothly due to the number of volunteers,” said Hendee. Volunteers did a number of jobs, from assisting the judges to setting up the stage for each new group.

“It was fun getting to see all the different bands,” said sophomore volunteer Andrew Thomas.  “I liked helping the judges.”

CMEA allowed many student musicians to improve their skills as individuals and as a group.  Overall, it was a great success.

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