For those participating in band programs, the UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest is the BIG ONE. It not only tests the muscianship of students in their preparation of prepared musical pieces, but it also measures how they measure up in a setting where you play music you haven't seen before. The Judson High School Band received first division ratings in both Concert Performance and Sight Reading. That means SWEEPSTAKES! We commend these students on their hard work and preparation that went into it.
Not every middle school enters both its varsity and non-varsity bands to major UIL contests, but some do. Even fewer schools see both of those bands awarded Sweepstakes honors. But that's exactly what happened with the Metzger Middle School Honors and Symphonic Bands. But the big UIL Concert and Sight-reading Contest was not the only competition these two bands participated in.
Leading up to the big UIL contest, both bands traveled to Canyon Lake High School and competed in the Director's Choice Alamo Showcase of Music. Both the Honors and Symphonic Bands earned a first division and "Best in Class" awards. The Honors Band also took Overall Outstanding Band in the competition.
Then there was the UIL Concert and Sight-reading Contest at Johnson and Steele High Schools. For the first time in school history, both bands received the coveted Sweepstakes award...the last time that happened to a JISD school was 2004 when Woodlake Hills MS did it.
On the heels of that big accomplishment, both bands geared up again for a final Director's Choice Alamo Showcase of Music at the Judson Performing Arts Center. The trend continued as both Metzger bands swept the competition earning first divisions, best in class and overall outstanding band trophies.
Congratulations to all band members and to Directors John Robertson and Steven Rosario
Springtime means that bands across the state are working on their concert pieces and their ability to sight-read music they've never seen before. Kirby Middle School's music program continues to prove they are a program that commands respect for their work and performance. The school's Honors Band racked up the coveted Sweepstakes award with straight 1s across the board...meaning every judge mark was the best in both concert and sight-reading. This is the third straight year that Kirby has achieved Sweepstakes awards and the ninth time in the school history. Congratulations to the 27 members of the Kirby Middle School Honors Band and to their director Mr. Elizondo.
Meanwhile, the Kirby Symphonic Band did very well too. This group was awarded a 1 Superior Rating for its concert performance. This is the first time a non-varsity band at Kirby Middle School has brought home this top award. Congratulations to the 20 members of this ensemble for working so hard to get this...the highest UIL award possible in concert performance. Congratulations also to the Symphonic Band Director Ms. Ascolese for successfully guiding these students.
The Judson MIddle School Orchestra hit the jackpot this year at the UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest. The Varsity Orchestra group not only earned Sweepstakes (means top honors in concert performance and sight reading), but they got straight 1s...that's the best marks from every judge in both categories. The non-varsity ensemble also did a great job by getting straight 1s in their stage performance. This is the first time Judson Middle School has ever brought two groups to contest and they did fantastic. Congratulations to Director Ms. Amy Martinez...she is very proud of her students.
You've probably heard the term "Sweepstakes" used a lot when talking about the Judson High School music program, but this award is a first. Now it's associated with Judson High School's first full orchestra. This is the first time band members have joined forces with the school orchestra students to make up a true, full orchestral ensemble. Orchestra Director Richard Helsley and Band Director Jeffrey Keyes put together the group that included strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion pieces. They entered the 2015 UIL Concert and Sight Reading Competition at Reagan High School prepared, but knowing not many schools were doing this. They came away with highest marks from all judges earning a Sweepstakes in the competition. This is truly a milestone for the Judson High School music program. They are part of a very small group of high schools in the area who are combining students in this kind of ensemble and going to competition with them. Congratulations to everyone.