CALDWELL, NJ – Students from Grover Cleveland Middle School (GCMS), Caldwell, learned that if you work hard, you are rewarded, when for the fourth year in a row, music ensembles from the school participated in adjudicated festivals in May, receiving ratings of “superior” and “excellent” on their performances. 

On May 17, the sixth grade band, chorus, and orchestra each received Superior ratings at the Musical Carousel Festival in Jackson. To earn the ratings, the groups performed selections of their choice. Performances average 20 minutes in length and are critiqued by evaluators. Ratings of superior, excellent or good are assigned to each group.

At the High Note Festival on Friday, May 31, in Allentown, PA, the grade 7/8 chorus also received a Superior rating, with the seventh grade band, eighth grade band, and grade 7/8 orchestra receiving Excellent ratings.  

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“Our music students continue to impress us,” said supervisor of music Scott Chamberlain. “Traditionally, we receive all or nearly all ‘superior” ratings. Although this year a few excellent ratings were achieved, our students did an incredible job and we couldn’t be prouder.”

To participate, each group performed with “on stage” time limited to 20 minutes, including set-up, introduction, and dismissal. Groups are then provided with motivational ratings of good, excellent or superior. Following their performances at the festival, the seventh and eighth graders enjoyed the remainder of the afternoon at nearby Dorney Park.

High Note Festivals were created by Dr. Alyn J. Heim, Past-President of National Association for Music Education (MENC) All-Eastern Division, and a Past President of New Jersey Music Educators Association (NJMEA). 

For further information: 
Grover Cleveland Middle School 
Principal: James Brown 
36 Academy Road 
Caldwell, NJ 07006 
973-228-9115 
Website  


With trophies and instruments in hand, representing the music department at Grover
Cleveland Middle School, Caldwell, are (front row) Hunter Halliwell, Jodi Maloney Lily
Coyle, Nicolas Galup, Elizabeth Murray, and Ryan Stevens; (middle row) band and
eighth grade concert band and percussion instructor Noreen Lienhard, music and
chorus instructor Deana Larsen, Vincent Cheung, Diana Abraham, Ashvin Nagarajan,
Alexandra Wertz, and Maria Pepper; and (back row) Nathan Bradley, Meredith Donlin,
Isabella Bellomo, Justine Martinez, Katherine Kreil, band and instrumental music
instructor Paul Larsen, string instruments and orchestra instructor Annelie Fahlstedt
Credit: Christine Corliss