The musical ensembles here at Hanover High School participated in the adjudicated MICCA Festival March 27-28. The MICCA Festival is an opportunity for groups to perform in front of a panel of judges to receive feedback from a source other than their director. The judges are usually professors in prominent college music departments and they all have a great deal of musical aptitude and intelligence. In fact, after the performance, one of the judges will host a clinic with the group and give them tips on how to improve to the next level of play. In addition to a live clinic from one the judges, directors receive the taped commentary of the three judges along with any notes they took. As far scoring and medal placement is concerned, it is done against a standardized rubric used by all the judges and not in comparison to the other groups in attendance at that particular venue. The possible awards a group can earn include the Medal of Merit, Bronze Medal, Silver Medal, and the Gold Medal.
Symphonic Band competed Friday night at Foxboro High School. They performed the same three songs they did at the HHS Spring Concert and ones they have been working on since the beginning of January. First was the march Fairest of the Fair by John Phillip Sousa, next up was Loch Lomond by Frank Ticheli, and concluding the set was Themes from Green Bushes by Percy Grainger. One of the requirements of the MICCA Festival is to have a variety of different genres represented in your band’s repertoire which is something the Symphonic Band definitely accomplished. Ultimately, the months of effort put in was rewarded by the Band receiving a Silver Medal. The Band has not received Silver since 2009, in Mr. Ketchen’s second year as Band Director. It’s even more of an accomplishment considering the fact the Band has a new director this year, Mr. Harden.
Concert Chorus and Vox competed on Saturday afternoon at Norwood High School. Concert Chorus performed At The River by Aaron Copland; Danny Boy, a traditional folk song arranged by Julie Knowles; and Sing and We Chant It by Thomas Morley. Vox, the audition-based elite women’s choir of HHS, performed Didn’ My Lord Deliver Daniel, arranged by Jennifer Alsup King, Ave Maria by Franz Biebel, and Ching a Ring Chaw by Aaron Copland. During Ave Maria, senior Jaime Savage, junior Melanie Armstrong, and sophomore Katie Scott all soloed. Similar to the Band, Vox and Concert Chorus have been rehearsing their songs since January. Ultimately, Concert Chorus got a Bronze Medal, and Vox got a Silver Medal. The Choruses show much promise under the leadership of their new director Mr. Schnelle and we can only expect even better results in the future.
The next performance of Symphonic Band, Concert Chorus, and Vox will be at the Williamsburg (Va.) festival April 16-19. It’s the first weekend of April Vacation and is the Music Department’s biennial trip. It’s another adjudicated festival and the groups will be busy at work for the next two weeks polishing their repertoires to get ready for the competition.