This past weekend Dexter Community Schools sent some of their brightest young talents to the annual District Solo and Ensemble Festival where they performed very, very well.
Dreadnaught students performed in a total of 97 events, and in the spirit of true Olympic champions, each performance qualified for a medal. Let me say it again: 100% of 97 performances medaled. (and the crowd goes wild).
The Board of Education got a sampling of the fine performances over the weekend with a visit from a trumpet trio who played their piece, much to the delight of Board members and the audience.
Also recognized at Monday night’s Board meeting were Dexter students who qualified for the Michigan Allstate Middle School Honors Band. The symphonic band comprised of top musicians from around Michigan performed at the Michigan Music Conference held last month.
Andrew Damman, Director of Bands for Mill Creek said, “Dexter has a long history of participating in the Honors Band. Thousands students across the state audition to get a spot in these ensembles.” He added, “This year we were very fortunate to have three students from the band program qualify.”
There are five State Honors Ensembles in all: a middle school string orchestra, a middle school band, a high school full orchestra, a high school band and a high school jazz ensemble.
To qualify for a spot, students must prepare an announced etude, a series of scales and sight-read during each 10 minute recorded audition. Each audition is then submitted using only an identification number with no reference to the student or school. The auditions are evaluated by an adjudicator and placed in order. The required number of instruments is selected to fill each section. An average of over 2,000 students audition each year for the 400 seats in the five ensembles.
In January the students assemble for two and a half days of rehearsal with nationally recognized conductors. A concert is held on the Saturday of the Michigan Music Conference.
Director Damman expressed his appreciation to the Board and audience for their support. “I just want to thank everyone for the continued support of the arts here in Dexter,” he said. “We perform at a very high level all across the board. From the School Board, to the staff and faculty, and to the parents, I just want to say ‘thank you very much’ for all you do for us.”
Pictured below with Director Damman are this year’s members of the Michigan Allstate Middle School Honors Band, from left to right: Audrey Hudson (clarinet), Eden Gibson (flute), and Colin Johnson (trombone).