Three Livingston bands prepare for state festival _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG Westside Junior High School performs March 25 at the District IV Instrumental Middle School Large Ensemble Louisiana Music Educator's Association music performance assessment. Bands competed during the two-day event at Episcopal High School in Baton Rouge.

Three Livingston Parish middle school bands are preparing for a state band festival hosted by the Louisiana Music Educators’ Association thanks to recent performances at a Baton Rouge event.

Bands from Westside, North Corbin and Juban Park junior high schools were three of 27 schools performing March 24-25 in the District IV Instrumental Middle School Large Ensemble performance assessment held at Episcopal High School, said Richard Bresowar, chairman of LMEA District IV.

Three other Livingston Parish middle schools took part in the music festival.

While not a contest or competition, the event is competitive, said Bresowar, who is the band director at Dutchtown Middle School.

An overall winner is not named, but instead, the top-scoring bands qualify for the next round of performances.

Each band performed three prepared pieces for judges and another piece of music presented at the festival just eight minutes before the performance.

Technically, he said, all the schools could qualify if they all get the top score of superior or a 1 rating. Eleven middle schools in the large ensemble division moved on to the state festival.

Bands scoring superior in both the concert and sight-reading performance earn sweepstakes awards and move on to the state festival later this month, he said.

Judges score each band and provide comments, he said.

The comments help bands improve, he said.

LMEA also held district events for orchestra and choral performances in middle and high school divisions, he said.

Southside Junior High, Denham Springs Junior High and Live Oak Middle School also took part in the middle school event.