South’s Orchestra and Band Earn Top Marks at ISSMA

Elena Rupp , Staff Writer

Bloomington High School South’s Orchestra and Band competed in the Indiana State School Music Association competition on April 22nd and 23rd. The Orchestra entered in the highest category of difficulty for orchestra and received a rating of Gold with Distinction. The Intermediate and Advanced Concert Bands competed as well but in the Concert Band division. The Intermediate Band received a Gold rating in Group 3, and the Advanced Band received a rating of Gold with Distinction in Group 1. 

Will Nicholas, Concert Band Director, was thoroughly pleased with the performances. Nicholas said, “I was really proud of how the kids performed. I truly couldn’t have asked the kids to play any better than they did.” This is the first time in decades that the band has competed at ISSMA. “It was super exciting to finally take the kids to the competition.” Nicholas said.

Each Concert Band performed three songs that they have been working on since January. One of the songs that the Intermediate Concert Band performed was “Incantation” by Robert W. Smith, and a song the Advanced Concert Band performed was “Moorside March” by Gustav Holst.

It has been two years since the Orchestra competed and they performed undoubtedly well. Orchestra director Jon Hansen said, “This is a really strong group of kids so I was very confident in them and I thought if they played like they usually do, we would do well.” In the end, they were extremely successful and Hansen was super excited to earn a Gold with Distinction. Hansen said, “That kind of score is pretty hard to come by, so I was very proud of the kids.” The orchestra played three pieces, and the students’ favorite piece was “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. 

Each ensemble has more performances coming up that they are excited for. Orchestra will be competing in the “Music in the Parks” competition in Kentucky Kingdom on May 21st. Additionally,  the Concert Band will perform on May 5th in Carmichael Hall at South.