Straight superior for MHS Jazz Band

Straight superior for MHS Jazz Band

On Thursday, Feb. 7, Jazz Band 1 and 2, led by Mr. Carrier, went to Lakewood Ranch High School to participate for Music Performance Assessment. MPA is the biggest competition for Jazz Band 1 and 2 this semester. There are two different kinds of stages for the competition: District and State. Only if the assessed band gets superiors at District, it is allowed to be judged on a state level.

“The state level is a festival where pretty much all the good bands are and it is a much harder judging criteria so it is harder to earn a superior,” said Mr. Carrier, band director.

In the auditorium three judges sit in the middle of the room in order to evaluate the performances. This way the judges can hear the room acoustics of the band. The competition is significant, because it is the best way students can compete with other students all over Florida and even the US. This is not only good for competition but also that the band knows on which level they play.  The evaluation is also essential for the band director to make sure that the right skills and information are taught and to see the band from a diverse perspective.

“Pretty much all the high school and middle school band programs of our whole area go there to get evaluated,” stated Mr. Carrier.

That is also the reason why MPA always happens in a new place each time. Each year, a high school hosts the competition so not every jazz band has to drive so far to MPA.

The rivals of MHS for this year and also hosts of MPA;Lakewood Ranch Highschool " Food was not too good, neither were the hosts.", Joshua.
Ready-set-play: The MPA was hosted by Lakewood Ranch High School. The rivals for MHS  this year is LRHS. “They also have a very good jazz program,” stated Joshua Castro.

The bands always practice earnestly for the different levels, even if it does not influence the grade directly. Mr. Carrier invited some jazz pros like Jeffrey M. Rupert to provide advice for the players and to prepare the bands for a good MPA. The groups also visited some MPA preparation concerts which have three judges. Jazz Band 1 and 2 try to readjust for the real competition. These concerts also help to adapt to the situation of the actual concert. If the judges want to hear more trombones, Mr. Carrier tries to balance it so that the auditor will hear more trombones. The different evaluations from the pre-concerts are put on the board and then the students talk about what they could do to improve.  So when the MPA date comes, the players are well prepared and also support each other, which means that when Jazz Band 2 plays, Jazz Band 1 sits in the auditorium and applauds.

There is no special ritual to get ready for MPA. “Just get everything clean and make sure that the kids have fun and are jamming,” stated Mr. Carrier.

Jazz Band 1 got straight superiors and is going to be at state on March 21. Jazz Band 2  got an excellent, but they are not going to MPA. Mr. Carrier is proud of his students performances.

“What I can say about MPA is that it went by really well, we had a very good performance and we brought home the superior,” stated Joshua Castro, a member of Jazz Band 1.

The two different jazz bands have several directors. Jazz Band 1 is lead by Mr. Carrier, while Jazz Band 2 is headed by Mr. Miller and Mr. Carrier.

“For us, the MPA was very good as well. We did not expect to get such a good grading and Mr. Miller was very proud of us. We did not make it to state but it was still a very good result,” stated Katelyn Bensen, member of Jazz Band 2.

MPA happens one time for district and one time for state per semester. The judges evaluate jazz bands, concert bands, solos and ensembles. The solo and ensemble judging took place on Feb. 16. The State rating for jazz bands happens on Mar. 21.