PARKLAND, FL- The Westglades Middle School Bands are having a tremendously successful year. Both of the top two bands at the school recently earned "superior" ratings at the Florida Bandmasters Association Music Performance Assessments (MPA's). The MPA's are an annual assessment of the band's overall quality. The Westglades Bands are led by Director Christian Gordon and Associate Director Kalyn Todd.
"Each year in March, our older bands perform at Florida Bandmasters Association Music Performance Assessment (MPA). Almost every school band participates in this type of evaluation throughout the country. This is essentially the 'State Test' for band," shared Todd. "Each band has to choose three pieces of music which are graded on difficulty and perform those on stage for three certified adjudicators. The adjudicators give very specific feedback as they listen and give each band a final rating."
Once the three pieces of music are performed, they move on to an even more difficult part of the assessment.
"After the three pieces on stage, the band must then go to the sight-reading room. Sight-reading is essentially testing the students and director to see that they can actually read music notation 'at sight.' Two entirely new pieces of music are placed in front of the students and director," said Todd. "For the first piece of music, the director has two minutes to prepare the band to play the piece, except there is no actual playing allowed during that two minutes. After the two minutes is up, the band must play the piece beginning to end and is rated on that performance. For the second piece of music, the band is given five minutes of study time to do the exact same thing, and then must perform the second piece all the way through for a rating."
Both the Westglades Concert Band and Symphonic Band earned a top rating by each of the adjudicators, a remarkable feat for the school.
"We're thrilled that these students were rewarded for the amount of work and time they put in to preparing for this evaluation," added Todd.