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Madrigals and Symphonic Band capture medals at MICCA

Posted By Denebola On April 16, 2008 @ 5:03 pm In News | Comments Disabled

By Roxanne Glazier

Winning gold and silver, Newton South’s Madrigals and Symphonic Band captured glory at the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) festival on Saturday April 5.
Madrigals won the gold medal, the first any Newton music group has ever won. Their impressive win qualifies to perform at an event in Symphony Hall on May 3. The band took home silver, but came within one point of gold.
These medals are especially impressive because of the limited time ensembles had to prepare. Due to concert cuts, South signed up and began preparations later than usual for MICCA. “We didn’t have that much time. We had to spend every single day from February to now practicing, sophomore Chen Cao said.
At the MICCA festival, ensembles perform three pieces to be scored against a quality standard by a panel of three judges. The judges are usually veteran high school or college conductors.
Bands must play a march, a selection from the National Band Association list, and selection of the group’s choice. Choruses must play one selection from the New York State School Music Association manual, one a capella piece, and one other piece.
Each piece is ranked out of five in nine performance categories including intonation, balance and blend, and technical facility. According to Youngman, Madrigals received mostly fours and fives, earning them the gold.
One of the three judges gave a half-hour long clinic to the group afterwards, giving the groups the ability to work with highly experienced conductors.
“We don’t do [MICCA] for the prize, Youngman said. “We do it for the experience and to get feedback from great musicians. The gold is just an unexpected and added benefit.
Madrigals will perform at Symphony Hall on Saturday May 3 in a concert open to the public. The SATs are scheduled for the same day, however, forcing some students to miss the concert to take the standardized test.
Overall, students from both groups were very pleased with their performance.
“I think we played really well, junior Cavaille Stepanova said.
“It took us by surprise, junior Sam Levenson said. “It’s a nice outside recognition of all of our hard work.
Band director Lisa Linde was believes that “this [MICCA] was not the best [performance that band] ever had but was still pleased with a silver medal. “We squeezed everything out of ourselves that we could. It was reflected in our scores, she said.
Linde describes this year’s band as “a younger group, and noted that as not an audition-only group, it faced a tough challenge versus other groups that were audition-only.
“The year I checked everyone [who competed scores] there was not a single group that got gold that was not a select group¦even here Madrigals is select and jazz ensemble is select, she said.

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[1] Despite less gold and silver key recipients than years past, Scholastic Art contest may not be a disappointment after all: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/10/despite-less-gold-and-silver-key-recipients-than-years-past-scholastic-art-contest-may-not-be-a-disappointment-after-all/

[2] Band ensembles offered paid shows outside of school: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/band-ensembles-offered-paid-shows-outside-of-school/

[3] After 20-year hiatus, pep-band livens up South sports: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/11/02/after-20-year-hiatus-pep-band-livens-up-south-sports/

[4] Linde jazzes up the music department: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/02/13/linde-jazzes-up-the-music-department/

[5] Don’t Look Back looks forward to CD release and future concerts: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/05/13/don%e2%80%99t-look-back-looks-forward-to-cd-release-and-future-concerts/

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