Smithsburg musicians home from Fla. festival

April 30, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

SMITHSBURG - Smithsburg High School band members returned home Thursday after spending a week in Florida.

Members of the Smithsburg High School orchestra and band - 164 students - spent the last week in Orlando taking part in the annual Festival of Music. It was the first appearance by a Smithsburg group there since 2001.

The young musicians left on April 22 and performed in competitions while there. Some also played at Disney World's Magic Music Days, including at a parade, at Magic Kingdom and at a Disney music workshop, orchestra director Evan Price and band director Gary Rupert said.

"It's an unbelievable musical experience," Price said. "We're adjudicated, and we get to perform for people (from) all over the world at the Disney facility."


Rupert said the orchestra garnered a "superior" rating and finished third out of three schools competing in its category. Rupert said the concert band earned a good rating and also finished third out of three schools.

The jazz ensemble was rated as "excellent," the marching band as "superior" and the wind ensemble as "excellent."

Rupert said few schools of a comparable size send bands to the festival.

Rupert said the school has in the past entered few competitions. He said several of the underclassmen, including 46 ninth-graders, have expressed interest in entering more competitions.

"For most of my kids, this is their first chance at a competition," Rupert said. "The younger kids are excited about the possibility of going again in three years."

Nick Bayer, a Smithsburg High School senior, said he enjoyed the competitive experience. Bayer, a member of the jazz ensemble's trombone section, which was voted the best overall trombone section in the competition, said the school should enter more competitions locally because the younger students would benefit as musicians.

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