This past weekend, the Symphony Band played at MSBOA Band and Orchestra Festival and got straight 1 (superior) ratings from all 3 judges in performance, and a 2 (excellent) rating in sight-reading. That means a strong 1 rating overall.
Ferndale Director of Bands Elon Jamison reported, "The auditorium chairperson was blown away...Lots of directors have said things about the consequences of COVID about their performances today, but he said that it didn't sound like Covid had impacted us at all." Mr. Jamison praised the students for their hardwork since September that earned this high score. "I am SO proud of them. They've shown up every day and gotten better. I would say they've probably exhibited at least a year and a half of growth, in only 6+ months."
In addition, Wind Ensemble performed today (March 17th) at the Great Lakes Concert Band Festival at Easter Michigan University. This event is a non-rated, non-competitive festival affiliated with Bands of America, the national concert and marching band organization. It featured twelve high school bands from around the state (as far as as Manistee and Traverse City), as well as a performance by the EMU Wind Symphony.
Wind Ensemble performed a challenging 25-minute program, and did a phenomenal job. Performing groups were assigned a clinician after each performance, and Ferndale was fortunate to work with Dr. Stephen G. Peterson—recently retired Director of Bands at University of Illinois. While he gave them plenty to work on, he also had high praise for their musicianship and achievement. "When he was told that Ferndale HS has a student enrollment of less than 700, he was floored with what they played and how they played it! He assumed we were a large suburban school of 1500 students or more," Mr. Jamison said.
We are all so proud of our Golden Eagles and cannot wait to hear their beautiful sounds once again. The next performance of Symphony Band and Wind Ensemble will be on Wednesday, May 3, at 7:30 pm in the FHS Auditorium.