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Judges give local bands high marks

This time of year finds students throughout the state preparing for standardized testing and, in the band department, Large Group Performance Evaluations (LGPE), known for years as Band Festival, tests students’ musical education. Judges from the Georgia Music Educators Association’s list of adjudicators are brought in to assess the quality of bands on a state-wide standard. Music performed must come from a state-approved list. Then, after bands have performed their rehearsed pieces, a fourth judge evaluates how well the bands read music that they have never seen before.”
The Washington 7th & 8th Grade Band earned a straight superior ratings on both the stage and sight-reading. The Whigham Middle School 7th & 8th Grade Band earned straight superior ratings on stage and asked for comments only in sight reading. Shiver Middle School had two groups participate this year: the 6th Grade Band asked to receive comments only for their young musicians, and the 7th and 8th Grade Band earned straight superior ratings on stage and in sight reading.
Both Cairo High Bands captured the highest awards of straight superior ratings on stage and in the sight-reading room. The Cairo Symphonic Band played a grade IV program, and the Cairo Symphony Band garnered rave reviews from the judges with their V/VI program.    
The adjudicators were Mickey Fisher from Tunnel Hill, Ga., James Smith from Troy University, Ala., and Eddy Williams from Huntingdon University in Montgomery, Ala. Sight Reading was judged by David Moorer from Valdosta, Ga.
All three Cairo bands received the highest accolades and glowing comments from the judging panel. Dr. Julian White was quoted about the Cairo Symphony Band’s program, “I am standing up because your performance moved me. This is exhibit A of what a band should be.” Steve McLendon said, “This is the finest performance I’ve heard out of over 120 bands I’ve adjudicated this year!”
Over 500 people from south Georgia were in attendance to hear the Cairo High Symphony Band’s Thursday evening performance. CHS Band Director Johnny Folsom said, “I told the students that they had really prepared well for one of the most challenging programs we have ever attempted and, that if we worked together, we had a chance to raise the performance bar to a new level.”  Folsom also said, “This is one of the most musical groups that I have ever had the privilege of working with.”

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