Performing arts students participate in yearly festival


Band students practice for upcoming events.

Envision holding on to your instrument with your increasingly sweaty palms. Imagine standing and performing in front of not one, but three judges. This is what all band and orchestra students face in the spring, but luckily not alone.

Every year, all bands and orchestras, ranging from first-year violinists to All-State participants, dress up in formal attire and play different musical pieces. Beginning with sight reading, each group has to practice many months prior to perfect its sound.

“We usually spend two to three months beforehand preparing for the festival,” Jason H’ng (9) said.

Musical ensembles prepare unique pieces ranging from three to five songs each and choose songs from distinct genres and musicians every year.

Schools from all around the Mid-South attend the highly-anticipated festival. Over 10 performances are showcased every day in front of the same judges as the festival usually takes place in a week’s time.

“It helps us compare how good we are to other schools in Memphis,” Lauren Parkison (11) said.

Scoring depends on the difficulty level of band or orchestra; the best acts receive a score of one. “For the bands, we normally get the highest score or second highest score every year,” Parkison said.

Festival displays the possibilities of different groups, whether novice or highly skilled. The continuation of festival encourages performance arts students to improve their abilities and showcase their talent to judges in the local area.