STANTON — The Central Montcalm High School Band earned a Division 1 rating at the Michigan State Band & Orchestra Association (MSBOA) District Band Festival hosted at Cedar Springs High School on March 1.
This is the band’s first Division 1 rating in more than a decade.
The band features 23 high-schoolers, including three seniors. The band performed “Aces of the Air March” by Karl L. King, arranged by James Swearingen, “To Realms of Endless Day” by Johnnie Vinson and “Prairie Songs” by Pierre LaPlante.
Comments from the judges included: “You are very well prepared,” ”You have some inherent balance and timbre issues because of instrumentation (referring to our small size) but I firmly believe good things come in small packages!”
“It’s fun proving that we can still achieve against all circumstances,” said senior band member Kristyna Petersen. “In the past everything was a far reach, now we pick it up and run with it. We’ve got a lot to prove, but we are well on our way.”
Band Director Matthew Reed said he is so proud of his students.
“They worked incredibly hard for this and were rewarded for their efforts,” Reed said. “It is great to have students that are willing to try new things and push themselves to be the best musicians possible.”
The seventh and eighth grade bands combined (40 students) for District Festival and earned a Division 2 rating. They played well and showed great improvement from last year.
Reed said Central Montcalm’s band program is growing quickly. More than 50 students are currently in beginning band — the largest beginning class in recent history — and the school is looking to recruit another large class from the current fifth grade.
The high school band is on the verge of a growth spurt as well, with only three seniors and 20 students in eighth grade band.
“Now that we’ve got numbers coming up through the ranks, we’re finding it difficult to provide the right equipment for the bands,” Reed said. We just don’t have enough of the big instruments. What a good problem to have! Now we just need to find the solution…”
The public can hear the middle school and high school bands perform — along with the beginning band — on March 23 at the Central Montcalm Showcase in the high school gymnasium.
The spring concert will be May 7 in the high school gymnasium.