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Hitting the right note

Martinsburg North Middle School jazz band, show choir, and women's choir bring home top prizesMartinsburg North Middle School ja

Martinsburg North Middle School jazz band, show choir, and women's choir bring home top prizesMartinsburg North Middle School ja

May 19, 2009|By RACHAEL JOHNSON / Pulse Correspondent

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Martinsburg North Middle School jazz band, show choir and women's choir all can be called one thing -- winners.

The groups traveled to Kutztown, Pa., on May 16 to perform in the Music in the Parks band and choir competitions.

Deborah Steranko, managing director of Music in the Parks, said groups performed and were evaluated by judges. Each group received both written and taped comments, she said.

Martinsburg North Middle was the only band from West Virginia to perform. Groups were mostly from Pennsylvania and New York. There were 11 instrumental groups and nine choirs that performed, Steranko said.

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Bands competed at Kutztown High School, while choirs competed at Kutztown University.

Martinsburg North Middle jazz band won first place in its category and received a good rating. The women's choir and show choir both won first place in their categories and received excellent rating.

The highest rating is superior with ratings in the 90s, excellent is a rating in the 80s, good is in the 70s, fair is in the 60s and below that the group receives a participation award.

Shortly after competing against each other, students from all the bands and choirs enjoyed high, thrill rides side by side at Dorney Park in Kutztown, Pa.

Awards were distributed at 6:30 that evening at the amusement park. The tension was disrupted as each school was introduced and cheers rolled through the air.

Screams echoed and were silenced with each announcement.

The North Middle Jazz Band jumped with enthusiasm upon hearing, "First place middle school jazz ensemble goes to, all the way from West Virginia, Martinsburg North Middle!"

The trip was cut short because the students had to leave the park early because of a storm.

Steranko said Music in the Parks is a national program with the Dorney Park event just one of many.

For more information about Music in the Parks, visit www.musicintheparks.com.

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