Jazz bands from the Mount Desert Island school system received high marks last week and will move on to state competitions.
Sponsored by Maine Music Educators Association, the annual festivals are the musical equivalent of tournament week for high school basketball players. Judges rate the bands, combos and show choirs on their performances. Groups receiving 1 or 2 ratings move on to the state festival. Musicians also are judged on their individual performances. Exemplary performers receive soloist awards.
Bands from the island’s K-8 schools turned in impressive performances Friday at the District VI middle school jazz festival in Orrington. For what might have been the first time, all four schools received a 1, the top rating. All head next to the March 23 state middle school festival in Westbrook.
The 22-member Mount Desert band performed Duke Ellington’s “Do Nothin’ till You Hear From Me,” the standard “All the Things You Are” and a ballad, “Old Friends.”
Two jazz bands and two combos from MDI High School performed Feb. 27 at the district high school competition at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill. Three of those groups received 2 ratings and are going on to compete at the March 15-16 state high school jazz festival in Houlton.
Two of those groups, the band, Green Machine, and the combo, Green Moments, were directed by Paavo Carey. Mr. Carey recently resigned from his position and Ned Ferm has taken over as director of those bands. Mr. Ferm also directs the band, Silence Is Not Golden, and the Gold Combo.
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The judges gave Silence Is Not Golden a 3 rating.