Gazette opinion: High school music students deserve applause

2013-04-10T00:00:00Z Gazette opinion: High school music students deserve applause The Billings Gazette
April 10, 2013 12:00 am

The halls were alive with the sound of music Monday at Skyview High.

Nearly 2,000 students from two dozen area high schools participated in the District 9 Music Festival on Monday. Extracurricular choirs, orchestras and bands, as well as student ensembles, quartets, trios, duets and soloists performed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They filled 20 classrooms at Skyview, plus the theater and gym.

Students earning superior ratings will have the honor of competing at the State Music Festival on May 3-4 at Senior High. Each student performance is graded according the quality of that performance, not in comparison to others. Thus, all superior groups and soloists receive a superior rating.

“District Festival can be likened to the tournament for sports teams,” said Scott Corey, Billings District 2 coordinator for music and art. “The performance at district in front of guest clinicians/judges is the culmination of several months’ work to prepare the groups to perform up to their highest potential.”

Two weeks ago, Billings hosted District Festival for high school bands, choirs and orchestras. That event for the large music groups featured student performances in the beautiful Alberta Bair Theater, Lincoln Center auditorium and at the Montana State University Billings downtown campus. The use of the ABT was made possible with support from O2 Architects and Arts Without Boundaries.

“The use of these facilities made the festival a very memorable event for the close to 2,000 students involved in the music programs of our area schools,” Corey said of the March festival.

District 9 participating schools include Senior, Skyview, West and Central, Absarokee, Belfry, Bridger, Broadview, Columbus, Custer, Fromberg, Huntley Project, Joliet, Laurel, Lavina, Lodge Grass, Melstone, Park City, Rapelje, Red Lodge, Roberts, Ryegate, Shepherd and Sweet Grass County.

Students benefit all their lives from the skills and the discipline learned in mastering vocal and instrumental music. They gain appreciation of the beauty that art brings to life, and the ability to share that beauty with their world.

We salute these high school singers and musicians. Their hard work deserves applause.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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