Preview of the CMEA Band Festival

By Srija Srinivasan | Staff Writer

This year, the annual California’s Music Education Association (CMEA) Festival will be held at Irvington on Apr. 24-25 and will include 26 bands from the Bay Area. CMEA holds this festival for Bay Area bands to perform prepared pieces, receive scores from judges, and use these scores to improve.

During the festival, each band first performs for three judges in Valhalla before sight-reading new, unfamiliar pieces. After they perform, they receive the judges’ ratings of Superior, Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor.

“I think we will get decent scores. Irvington has usually gets Excellents and Superiors, but we always try to aim for the top and get the score Unanimous Superior,” junior Owen Yang, a bassoonist, said. “We practice sight reading in class and rehearse our concert set every day.”

Though all the bands are close to being ready for the festival, our wind ensembles are especially well-prepared,” Irvington’s band teacher, Charlie Rodda, said. “They’ve been ready for over a month.”

The festival is not a competition, but rather a chance for bands to gather and receive feedback. “I think it’ll be good. It’s a great experience to be able to hear other bands, and it’s a good test for our bands,” Rodda continued. “It’s our benchmark for the year. It serves as our measuring stick to see how we’re doing.”