Argyle Wind Ensemble Crowned Second in State Competition

Argyle Wind Ensemble Crowned Second in State Competition

by Susan Neuhalfen

The Argyle High School Wind Ensemble earnin ed first runner up in the state as selected by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) at the Texas Honor Band competition over the summer.

“It’s a sign of how your band program is doing,” said Argyle High School Band Director Kathy Johnson. “The competition is pretty stiff.”

Every band entered is required to record an official performance of three pieces in front of a live audience, with the time and date of the concert included at submission. The music must also be played as it was intended. It is first sent to a panel of judges on a regional level. Argyle placed first regionally and then went on to compete at an area level, again taking first place. The band competed with all other 4A wind ensembles and were adjudicated at each level by a different panel, each consisting of five judges.  All judges are renowned and respected music educators in the state of Texas. There are no identifying names included so all scoring is done anonymously. 

“Second place is a huge honor,” said Johnson of the performance. “It’s a real team effort as everyone has to be aware of everyone else at all times. They make it look easy, but it really isn’t.”

The selections from the Argyle Wind Ensemble were Commando March by Samuel Barber, Bach’s Fugue à la Gigue and Arturo Márquez’s Danzón No.2. 

Johnson pointed out the band doesn’t teach to a test so this performance acts as their assessment. Learning is great but if her students cannot apply the knowledge it does them no good. She said that it is obvious from the scoring that they are doing a great job of applying the knowledge taught to them and that it shows their ability to make critical musical judgments on the fly.

“Trophies are just a by-product of that we do,” said Johnson. “The kids really did an amazing job.”

The TMEA Honor Band Competition occurs every other year with the 5A/3A/1A High Schools competing in odd years and the 2A/4A/6A High Schools on even years. The first place band performs at the 2017 TMEA conference in February.

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