Irvington Hosts First Ever CMEA Festival, Scores Well

Wind ensemble’s unanimous superior leads the way in successful festival.

On April 28th and 29th, Irvington invited bands from around the east bay to participate in the California Music Educators Association Festival. Irvington’s Wind Ensemble scored unanimous superior, Symphonic Band scored superior, and Freshman Band scored excellent.

Each band gets a score based on two categories: performance and sight reading. In the performance, there are three judges who rate the band’s performance of the pieces that the band chooses to play. After listening to each band play, each judge ranks the band in one of five ranks: superior, excellent, good, fair, and poor. In sight reading, the band is given a new piece that they have not rehearsed and are scored with the same scale on how well they play it.

Many band members are proud of their accomplishments but strive to improve their skills. Wind ensemble percussionist Primus Lam said, “It was a unanimous superior, but we can always do better.”

“I was concerned with running the festival, but I thought all the bands did a great job,” said Irvington band teacher and director Charlie Rodda. Mr. Rodda made it clear that CMEA was not a competiton between schools, but rather a chance for bands to be judged based on their musical talents and score well. 78 bands from 26 schools attended the festival.

Th Irvington CMEA headquarters, where all the behind-the-scenes work to run the festival took place, did face difficulties in running the festival. “Communication with the volunteers was difficult,” said Sophomore Jerry Quan, who worked at the festival headquarters compiling scores and recording judges. “But overall, it was a success.”