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Monday, May 2, 2016

Clay City Concert Band hits the gold standard

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The brass section of the Clay City High School Concert Band prepares a piece for graduation. The band earned a gold rating at a recent competition. Melinda Quasius Photo.
Even in non-marching competitions, the Clay City High School band shines.

The school's concert band earned a gold-medal rating at an Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) contest at Northview High School April 12-13.

Clay City competed in the Group 2 category, the second toughest group, and earned the gold rating for their three prepared pieces.

When it came to sight-reading, the band earned a silver-medal rating.

For its prepared pieces, Director Mark Ziegler selected "Exaltation" by James Swearingen, "Beyond the Higher Skies" by Robert Sheldon and "Blue Ridge Saga" also by Swearingen.

After performing in the auditorium, the band was moved into the gym for their sight reading performance. They were given an envelope with music and 10 minutes to prepare to play the piece through without stopping.

"It was difficult. We didn't do as well at sight reading as we would have hoped," Ziegler said.

Twenty-four bands, several orchestras and choirs competed during the weekend, and were rated based on their performances in one of four groups. Group one was judged the toughest, and group four was judged with the most leniency.

When asked about preparing for the contest, freshman Krysta Stone said "hitting the rhythms" of the songs was most difficult. A.J. Darr said "locking the sound together" was also a difficulty for the band.

Senior Kendall Dickerson said she felt the performance went well, but had difficulties adjusting to the different acoustics at Northview.

"It went pretty good," she said. "From my position on stage, I thought I did pretty bad, but that's the difference between here and there."

The competition was bittersweet for Dickerson, as she will not be participating in any of the preparation for next year. But she did take away some valuable experience.

Dickerson is planning to complete her general education at Ivy Tech, then transfer to St. Mary-of-the-Woods College for a degree in music therapy and music education.

"It definitely helps, because it helps me get used to playing not just marching band or pep band music it helps to play slower music," she said.

Now, the band is working on music for graduation, which in comparison to competition pieces, "seems easy," according to Jonathan Sinders.

Beyond "Pomp and Circumstance," summer band will begin in June, and soon into practice students from the sixth-grade band will move up into the ranks.

Ziegler said bringing students in at the seventh- and eighth-grade level is a challenge, and asks a lot of those students.

Even with success, the Clay City band continues to work at their craft.

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Northview also performed in this contest. How did they do?

-- Posted by Mumbler on Thu, Apr 24, 2008, at 9:10 AM

the must not have done well or they would have reported on it!

-- Posted by Partrosie on Thu, Apr 24, 2008, at 11:34 AM

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