By Tia Lyn Lecorchick staff writer

The Morgan County Middle School (MCMS) bands performed at the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) Large Group Performance Evaluations at Salem High School in Conyers, scoring well. earlier this year, and received a “superior rating” for their performances, in the categories of stage and in-sight readings. “A superior rating designates the highest rating available in music adjudication.

The students performed more than just the notes and rhythms, the music was performed at highest depth of knowledge and at an exemplary level,” explained Karisa Seymour, band director at MCMS and assistant at Morgan County High School (MCHS).

Three judges are chosen based on expertise from the list of GMEA members to rate each of the bands on five criteria: tone, intonation, technique, balance and musicality.

“Students diligently work to make sure every public performance they give is of the highest quality possible. We are grateful for the parental and board of education support of our programs,” said Seymour. Sarah Burbach, assistant superintendent, noted the impressive parental involvement.

“The eigth grade performance had at least an 80 percent showing of parental support at our performance in Conyers and the seventh grade band had at least 50 percent of parents attending in the middle of the day on a Thursday. The students and parents are very pleased with their performances,” said Burbach. Seymour looks forward to the event each year, where her students can shine and all their hard work pays off.

“The annual event is designed to showcase student musicians and promote higher levels of school band performance. The bands perform three prepared selections and sight-read an additional piece.

Adjudicators award separate scores for prepared pieces and sight-reading based on factors including degree of difficulty and performance accuracy, style and dynamics,” said Seymour.

According to Seymour, each of MCMS’ three bands, for sixth, seventh, and eigth grades, is comprised of 65-70 members and the bands perform in accordance with their grade level. The music program includes high school bands as well, of which Jeffrey Rowser is the director.

“Mr. Rowser and I work very closely together to ensure the music education that each child enrolled in the program receives is of the highest quality. We teach over 360 of Morgan County’s finest young people. Students enrolled in the music program are among the top in their class and include athletes from every sport represented in our school system,” said Seymour.