On Friday, May 4, the Jazz Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Singers performed at the Music in the Parks Festival in Agawam, Mass. Music in the Parks is a national adjudication festival where school bands, orchestras and choirs from across the region perform for a rating and can also choose to compete for the top spots in their division. Each of Weston’s ensembles performed three selections for a panel of judges and received both a written evaluation and audiotape of the judge’s remarks.
The WMS Jazz Ensemble directed by Mr. Jeff Holmes and the WMS Chamber Orchestra directed by Meghan Smart competed and received the award for first place in their divisions and each received a rating of “Excellent." They also received the awards for Best Overall Junior High/Middle School Jazz Band and Best Overall Junior High/ Middle School Orchestra.
The WMS Jazz Lab Band, under the direction of Koryn Soboleski, received a rating of "good."
The WMS Chamber Singers directed by Mrs. Liz Morris also competed and received the first place award in their division with a rating of “Superior." They also received the award for Best Overall Junior High/Middle School Choir. Sam Ditkoff received the Outstanding Soloist Award for his guitar solo with the Jazz Band.
The very final award of the day, the Esprit De Corps award, is not just about music but encompasses positive behavior, cooperation and sportsmanship, as well as overall musicianship. It is with great pride that we can say that Weston Middle School was the school chosen by the judges to receive this prestigious award.
Members of these performing ensembles are in sixth, seventh or eighth grade and successfully completed an audition for admittance into the select groups. They have committed their time and talents to weekly rehearsals after school and weekly sectional rehearsals before and after school. Their hard work and long hours of practice were rewarded on May 4 with trophies and an enjoyable evening at Six Flags New England Amusement Park.