MARION -- The Chester Grade School Band and Chorus competed at Marion, Illinois Friday evening April 6 at the 2018 IGSMA (Illinois Grade School Music Association) Organizational Contest.
At this event, entire bands, choral units, and larger ensembles compete. A panel of three judges evaluates each competing group as they perform three different pieces. The judges' scores are combined to create a total score determining the overall rating for the contest.
Throughout the three performances the judges are evaluating each group on eight criteria including tone quality, intonation, rhythm, balance/blend, interpretation/musicianship, diction, technique, and other performance factors such as choice of literature, appropriate appearance, poise, posture, general conduct, mannerisms, and facial expression.
Points are awarded in these eight categories to create an overall score. Each category can earn a range of 1-5 points. There are five different overall ratings based upon the total number of accumulated points. The eight categories are summed to provide the overall performance rating.
The best overall rating is "1st Place Superior" rating for point totals of 38-40 points. The next-highest rating category is "1st Place Excellent" rating for point totals of 29-37 points. A third category is a "2nd Place Good" rating for point totals of 21-28 points. The fourth category is the "3rd Place Fair" rating for 13-20 point totals. The final and fifth category is a 4th Place Unsatisfactory rating for 8-12 points.
Superior performances are outstanding in every way and earn five points. Excellent performances have a few minor defects and earn four points. Good performances lack a bit if finesse or interpretation and earn three points. Fair performances are described as having a basic or several basic weaknesses and earn two points. Finally, an unsatisfactory performance is basically unsatisfactory in most ways and earns just one point.
The CGS Band was the first Chester group to perform. They performed their three contest pieces at 6:30 p.m. for the panel of three judges. The repertoire included "Mad Dash" by Timothy West; The Fortune Teller's Daughter" by David Gorham; and "Abington Ridge" by Ed Huckeby.
The Chester Grade School Band is directed by Sue Colonel. Her group earned a "1st Place Superior" rating from all three judges. The most points an individual judge can award is 40 points. CGS Band earned 38, 38 and 39 points from the respective judges for a total of 115 out of a possible 120 points. The overall rating for the band was "1st Place Superior".
Some of the specific judges' comments included: Exciting; Wow; Good; Full and exciting; Loved every section; Nice trumpet solo; Good job; Bravo; Excellent; Well done; Great job; and Very professionally done performance.
The CGS Chorus also did extremely well during its performance. The chorus is directed by Steve Colonel. The chorus performed three pieces beginning at 8:30 p.m. including "Let There Be Music" by Jerry Estes; "Said the Rain" by Amy F. Bernon; and "Shoo Fly" by Greg Eplin.
The chorus just missed earning three "1st Place Superior" ratings by a small margin of only three points. The chorus earned ratings of 39, 38 and 35 from the respective panel of three judges. The chorus thusly earned two "1st Place Superior" ratings and one "1st Place Excellent" rating. Out of a possible 120 points, the CGS Chorus earned a total of 112 points.
Some of the judge's specific comments included: Very nice; No problem here; Very good job; Shoo Fly is a fun song; nice looking group; Good job; Sharp, crisp, good job; Nice voices with lots of potential; and Good job. You can tell you have paid attention to this piece.
When the CGS Band and Chorus boarded the busses at the end of Friday nights performances Chester had earned more "1st Place Superior" ratings than any other school entered in the contest, including Unity Point School in Carbondale, Marion, Carterville, Sparta, Anna-Jonesboro, and Adams School.
"Hats off" to Mr. and Mrs. Colonel and the Chester Grade School Band and Chorus for a job well done and six excellent performances. The CGS music program represented the City of Chester and Chester Grade School very well. All musicians, instrumentalists, parents and school officials should be proud for the fine job of performing at the 2018 IGSMA Organizational Contest at Marion!