Orchestra, Symphonic Band Honored at CMEA

Natalie Bunting, Staff Writer

The symphonic band and orchestra received a “unanimous superior” at the CMEA band and orchestra concert on Saturday, April 28.  The event was held at San Ramon Valley High School.

First chair celloist Annie Carlson said that their ranking confirmed Campo’s high standards. According to Carlson, Campo was one of the few schools to receive unanimous superior.

The event went really well, explained Carlson.  “Everyone played their heart out and represented Campolindo’s excellence,” she said

CMEA is a music festival where judges rank music performances.  The judging is based on quality of sound, technique, musicality, and another factors, explained conductor and teacher Harvey Benstein.  Scores range from “needs improvement” to “superior.”

The symphonic band and orchestra last performed at CMEA ten years ago.  In the past, Campo “received the highest awards possible at the CMEA festival,” explained Benstein.

Campolindo’s high ranking at CMEA in past years confirms “the consistent high standards of Campolindo music,” said Carlson.

In years that the band and orchestra has not performed at CMEA, Benstein has brought in professional musicians.  However, he likes to give the students the opportunity to be evaluated on their skills at CMEA.

Leading up to the performance, the students do self-evaluations so “they are familiar with the [judging] areas”

According to Carlson, “everyone worked together well but we are all as good as our last performance meaning we can step it up even more for our next contest.”

She said, “There’s always room for improvement and being musicians we always wish to strive to play our personal best.”

At CMEA, the orchestra preformed “Holberg Suite” by Edvard Grieg. The symphonic band preformed “Folk Song Suite” by Ralph Vangau Williams and “San Antonia Dances” by Frank Tichel.

In addition to a judged performance, groups were given a 25-minute block for a warm up or sight-reading clinic.

Medals and pins corresponding to different scores, and unanimous superior plaques were available after the performance.