By Trent Robison
Moapa Valley Progress
In recent weeks, two ensembles in the Moapa Valley High School music program attended Clark County School District Festivals in Las Vegas. There several judges from around the western United States, listened to school groups from throughout the district and gave scores to each ensemble that participated. The judges awarded each ensemble with rankings from 1-5 with a 1 ranking being highest “Superior” rank. A 2 ranking is considered ‘Excellent”.
Upon arriving, local students were allowed a brief warm up with MVHS music teacher and ensemble conductor, Mr. Tony Polzien. The groups then performed before the judges. In addition to the music prepared, both ensembles were required to perform a set of scales and excerpts of rhythms they had never seen before.
After the performances, students exited the stage and entered another room where they would participate in a clinic instructed by a judge. The judge listened to the groups and offered more in-depth feedback. Each group received specific instructions on how to improve the pieces they played.
Finally, the students exited the building, stood for photographs and were informed of their scores.
The MVHS orchestra group performed at Spring Valley High School in Las Vegas on Tuesday, April 17. After months of intense practice and rehearsals at school, the orchestra confidently performed Mantras by Richard Meyer, Lullaby by William Hofeldt and Allegro Gustoso by Jeremy Woolstenhume for the judges. They received an overall 2 “Excellent” ranking from the judges after the performance.
The MVHS band performed for a separate band festival earlier last month at Coronado High School in Las Vegas. The band performed Rough Rivers by Karl King and Mountain Country by Johnny Vinson. The judges ranked the MVHS band with a 1 “Superior” ranking: the highest mark a group can receive at the festival.
“Both the band and the orchestra performances exceeded how I thought the festivals would go,” Polzien said, “They have both improved a lot over the year.”
Polzien credited excellent instruction in middle school grade levels for much of the quality in the high school ensemble programs. “The students have all been very well prepared for high school by the middle school,” Polzien said.