Lower School Band Earns Top Rating at Busch Gardens Music Festival

Showcasing their skills at shifting rhythms to play two challenging pieces, the 31-member Lower School Band earned the highest rating of “superior” at a band festival this weekend at Busch Gardens.

Only eight bands out of the 27 in the festival received a superior rating; the Bulldogs received a score of  93.5, with only two other bands, both from the same school, receiving higher scores.

The band performed “Sousa’s Cadets,” a classic marching band piece by John Philip Sousa, and “Android Attack” by Michael Oare, a local composer who teaches at Great Bridge Middle School, but one whose work is known and played far beyond the local area. The latter piece has several challenges for a young band. In one part of the piece, each instrumental section enters in sequence, layering the sounds gradually, said Mrs. Kecia Yeates, who directs the Lower School Band. “We had a building effect, where they really had to listen to one another.”

In addition, the band has six percussionists, and “Android Attack” capitalizes on that strength. “The percussion was tight! The judges commented on the rhythm and internal pulse of the band,” Mrs. Yeates said. “The percussion was really, really on.”

Congratulations, Bulldog musicians! We look forward to hearing your performance on May 30 at 9 a.m. for the Lower School Music Concert!