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VAN WERT - Following an outstanding District Contest showing in early March the VWHS Symphonic Band traveled to state finals this past Saturday, May 4. The band performed at Gahanna Lincoln High School for the event that is sponsored by the Ohio Music Education Association.

The Symphonic Band performed in the Gahanna Lincoln High School Auditorium. The band performed for a full house by opening with a classic piece entitled "Serenade" by Derek Bourgeois. Written for the composer's own wedding it's lilting melodies and mixed meter made for a very interesting beginning to the program. Their second piece was called "Shine" by Michael Markowski. It is an exploration of instrumental colors on the backdrop of dark hues. Their final piece was the student favorite "Arabesque" by Samuel Hazo. This piece is a Middle Eastern style ethnic celebration of dance and drama with a fiery, emotional ending.

The discerning judges awarded the Symphonic Band a "SUPERIOR" rating (the highest rating possible). They were one of only 2 Class B bands to receive the top rating for the weekend and one of only 6 bands regardless of class to receive the top rating. "The students have worked hard all year," said Sloan "and it was awesome to give such a thrilling, emotional performance. I am extremely proud of their effort." He continued, "performing such great music for a large audience is a great honor. To be awarded the top rating is icing on the cake."

The Band Department would like to express their gratitude to the many parents, relatives, alumni, and friends who made the trip to Gahanna for the performance. Of special note are those parents and alumni who departed with the busses as chaperones or helpers at 6 a.m.

Several other spring performances are upcoming including a Spring Concert (which will feature State Finals music and more), graduation, and the Peony Parade in the very busy month of May. For more information on any of these events please visit the VW Band Website at, "like" them on facebook at Van Wert Bands Information, follow them on twitter @vwbands, or call the Music Department at (419) 238-3722.