March Music Madness!

Band Students from Western High School with Band Instructor Krystal Williams.

Opportunities to perform and receive critical feedback are crucial to every artist – especially as Baltimore City Public Schools expands arts education through the Baltimore Fine Arts Strategic Plan. Every March, choral and instrumental teachers from across the City to participate in adjudications and master classes. What does a Baltimore City Music classroom look and sound like as they practice and prepare? Check out Dr. Rodriguez Ross’ classroom at Yorkwood Elementary and Shakia Paylor’s musicians at City Neighbors High School as they prepare adjudications.

Read all about the 2019 Baltimore City Music Adjudications:

The halls were alive with the sound of music, as approximately 500 City School students from 15 schools demonstrated their musical accomplishments at the Citywide Choral and Band Festivals, held March 19 & 20 at Morgan State University.  Participating choirs and bands, led by their intrepid directors, were adjudicated by band and choir directors from universities and other Maryland districts, using performance criteria, graded repertoire and musical sight reading skills set by the Maryland Music Educators Association. Following each performance, one of the adjudicators worked with the group, highlighting areas for improvement.  ” I was nervous!” said one of the young musicians. ” But we did our best, and I think it came out pretty good. It was fun to hear the other groups, too.”  “Festivals are great learning opportunities.” a director commented. ” Even a short coaching session is helpful for me and my students.  I also get ideas  for repertoire we might perform in the future.”

Similar festivals are held annually in districts throughout Maryland.  Groups which receive a “1” rating are invited to participate in the annual Statewide Festivals. We have four qualifying groups this year- two more than last year! Qualifying groups include Baltimore City College High School Full Choir, Western High School Soundz Umlimited, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute Symphonic Band, and Roland Park Elementary/Middle School Band. Participating Schools included:  Choir ConneXions, Baltimore City College, Western High School, Abbottston Elementary School, Yorkwood Elementary School, Leith Walk Elementary and City Neighbors High School. Band – Baltimore City College, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Western High School, Patterson High School, Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, Reginald F. Lewis High School, Highlandtown Middle School 215, Hamilton Elementary/Middle School, Booker T. Washington Middle School for the Arts, and Carver Vocational Technical High School .

The Festivals were organized by Fine Arts Coordinator Chan’nel Howard. Morgan University students assisted with registration, group and stage management.  City Schools student media team recorded the events. For more information about arts in City Schools contact Mrs. Howard at cwilliams07@bcps.k12.md.us


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