RANDOLPH, NJ— The Randolph High School Percussion Ensemble traveled to Indiana in March to perform in a prestigious percussion festival.

The elite group of Randolph High School drummers was the only percussion ensemble from New Jersey to be invited to participate in the 26th annual Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Ensemble Festival March 9-11 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Randolph High School Percussion Ensemble director Tom Murphy submitted recordings, rosters and a resume to earn this coveted placement, he said.

"It was an extremely rewarding experience to be placed in an environment where so many people shared my passion for music making," said senior Tyler Stampone, who performed with the ensemble. "I am extremely grateful to have been a part of this experience."

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Chlesea Dinneny, a senior, noted that the students gave the performance 100 percent.

“We are beyond excited for the Randolph High School Percussion Ensemble to perform at the Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Ensemble Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana!” said Frank Perrone, Randolph Supervisor of Fine and Performing Arts. “These young musicians along with their director have worked really hard to get to this point and they deserve this elite recognition.

“The Randolph Music Department is very strong in every area and this is one example of the high caliber musicians we have along with the highly dedicated directors. We wish the very best for the percussion ensemble as they continue to prepare for this festival.”

The Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival is a non-competitive performance and evaluation opportunity that shines a spotlight on the nation’s most outstanding scholastic concert percussion ensembles. All auditioning ensembles receive both recorded and written evaluations from a panel of percussion educators. Invited ensembles experience a first-class festival of performances, clinics, master classes and special events, which will help them improve and move to the next level.

The Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Ensemble provides a national forum for performance and recognition for America’s outstanding concert percussion ensembles, as well as a wealth of educational opportunities for the participating ensembles.

“The honor of being selected for the Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Ensemble Festival is a career achievement for me and a milestone for our Randolph Music Department," said Percussion Enesemble Director Tom Murphy. "Having the opportunity for these students to play on a national stage

The event was organized by Music for All, one of the nation’s largest organizations advocating in support of music education. The Music for All National Festival is comprised of the National Concert Band Festival, Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival, Middle School National Music Festival, Chamber Music National Festival and three national honor ensembles: the Honor Band of America, the Jazz Band of America, and the Honor Orchestra of America.

The Randolph students also enjoyed a tour of the Indianapolis Speed Way as well as a stop in the Rhythm Museum.

The Randolph High School Percussion Ensemble was one of 59 high school and middle school concert band and percussion ensembles from across the nation selected to perform at the 2017 Festival. They performed in concert and were evaluated by renowned music educators. They also participated in master classes and special events. Invited concert bands, orchestras, percussion ensembles, and honor ensemble members which participated in the 2017 Festival came from 33 states including: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.