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Junior-high band earns contest silver

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By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

Tell City musicians miss gold by 1 point

TELL CITY - Tell City Junior High School musicians captured a silver award at an Indiana State School Music Association organizational festival Friday at Columbus East High School.

Of the three judges, "one gave us gold and two gave us silver," Music Director Barry Reasoner said Tuesday, "and the majority rules."

One of the judges awarding a silver rating said the seventh- and eighth-graders were only a point from earning gold, he added.

The festival featured choirs and string orchestras in addition to concert bands like Tell City's.

The Archer students performed "The Tempest," by Robert W. Smith, "An Australian Sea Ballad by Robert Sheldon and Colin J. Brien's "Adventure on Snake River," Reasoner said.

"The ISSMA has five group levels, Group 1 being the most difficult," Reasoner explained.

"We entered in Group 3, which might be pushing a seventh-grader a little bit," he said.

Group 1 is considered high-school level, he added.

The seventh- and eighth-graders had a number of practices separately, but only two as a combined group, he said.

"There's a good chance that with one more group rehearsal, we could have fine-tuned it enough to earn gold," Reasoner said. "The pieces I chose were difficult, but were challenging to the proper degree for this group of students."

The musicians had a few problems with the balancing and blending of sections, but "played to the best of their ability," he continued. "They understand they were very close (to a gold rating), and are anxious to improve based on the judges' comments. They really had a challenging program to play and did pretty darn well."

Reasoner complimented the judges for the way they "help educate and encourage, rather than discourage the students."

The junior-high band's next performance will be a spring concert beginning at 7 p.m. May 20 in the Tell City High School auditorium.

"We'll play some or all of the pieces from the contest, and hope to add more, as well," Reasoner said.