Three music groups from Winman won awards at this year’s Great East Music Festival on Friday, May 23. Both the orchestra and the chorale won a gold medal, while the jazz band won a platinum award.
The festival was held in Derry, N.H. at Hood Middle School. There were two professional adjudicators judging the groups. According to Peter Kiley, Director of Bands at Winman, after each group’s performance one adjudicator would give the group a clinic focusing on the group’s strong points and weak points using a hand-held recorder. The students practiced often and it paid off.
“The festival gives them an opportunity to be recognized and awarded for their hard work and dedication,” Chorus Director Kristine Gervais said.
Kiley says the festivals are about education and that the adjudicators are always current or former professors from big universities.
“These are very experienced professors,” Kiley said.
The Platinum, which was won by the jazz band, is the highest medal awarded and it was the first time in the history of the school that any group received the award.
Julie Davis, an 8th grade tenor saxophone player in the band, said she was nervous at first, but when she got up to play it was fun. However, she didn’t expect to win.
“I was shocked when we won,” said Davis.
Gabe Densley, an 8th grader drummer in the band had been thinking about the performance for a while beforehand saying, “Its anticipating.”
The contest is usually held in New Hampshire, Connecticut or Massachusetts.