Leesville Road High School Bands prepares for upcoming music conference

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The Band during their performance in the winter. (Photo Courtesy of Leesville Road High School Bands)

This Friday, March 1, 2024, all three of LRHS’ Intermediate, Concert, and Symphonic Band will perform at 6:30 PM  in the auditorium for judges and an audience as part of a mock performance as they prepare for the  Music Performance Adjudication (MPA) conferences at Cedar Ridge High School. 

Several plaques from MPA currently line the walls of the band room and almost all of them have superior ratings because LRHS bands are not strangers to the stressful but rewarding MPA season.

MPA is a music festival attended by LRHS since 1993 under conductor David Albert, but it initially began as a contest in Greensboro in the 1920s. Since then, it’s taken place at various High Schools and has included various bands from the state. 

“The MPA process is one of the more stressful parts of our school year as music educators, but if approached properly can also garner incredible opportunities for growth and development,” says Josh Cvijanovic, Associate Director of Bands. 

Requiring three different types of music on a grade scale, the bands must prepare in not only their pieces but in sight reading as well, which affects their overall score. A panel of three individuals judges each band with a certain background in music, whose role it is to provide helpful commentary to be used for future rehearsals. 

Specific to Leesville students in the band program, the MPA season is a familiar, but always daunting challenge. The music is harder, and the rehearsals are more rigorous. Music is typically selected in late December and worked on over four months. 

“The level of focus and attention to detail that needs to happen when preparing for MPA is very demanding, and when we as conductors and performers rise to meet those demands, we walk away with a significant increase in both technical proficiency as well as music making prowess,” says Cvijanovic.

With the concert this evening, March 1, the band program hopes to use the input from the judges to fine-tune their rehearsals before their performances at MPA. 

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