Wise HS

Inside PGCPS

Celebrating Music in Our Schools Month!

Celebrating Music in Our Schools Month!

  • Inside PGCPS |
  • For Parents |
  • March 22, 2019

Did you know that nearly 14,000 PGCPS students play a musical instrument? Over the past two weeks, 100 band and orchestra ensembles showed their skills at the annual instrumental music festival.

The festival and assessment, for which participants have two months to prepare, offers band and orchestra students an opportunity to perform in front of peers and judges to gauge how they have advanced over the course of the year, said PGCPS Instrumental Music Supervisor Lionel Harrell.

Judges who provide feedback are band and orchestra directors from local school systems and colleges as well as retired musicians.

At the festival, ensembles are rated in two presentations: a stage performance of three pieces (worth 75% of their overall score) and a sight reading performance that challenges groups to play a composition they have never seen before as best they can for the first time. The sight reading test — after which an adjudicator offers compliments and suggestions for improvement — counts toward 25% of the assessment.

Top-rated groups advance to state festivals at Towson University in April and May.

“Music in our schools benefits the whole student,” Harrell said. “It helps develop students who are well-rounded, who can think creatively and allows students to use their brains in ways they might not be able to in other classes.”