AP NEWS

LHS Band earns perfect score at district festival

March 25, 2019

Spring is off to a great start for the Ludington High School Wind Symphony, with the band earning top marks at the district band festival on March 7.

The wind symphony earned 1 ratings across the board — the highest score possible — from judges at the district festival at Manistee High School after receiving straight As in the graded categories of tone, intonation, rhythm, technique and interpretation.

“There are three judges for a total of 15 graded categories,” LHS Band Director Keith Kuczynski said. “We were awarded 15 As, which resulted in our final rating of straight 1s.”

The perfect score qualified the band for the state festival, but Kuczynski said they won’t be attending due to a scheduling conflict with their upcoming trip to Chicago.

“It’s kind of a bummer that we don’t go (to state), but our energy’s better spent … making that trip and playing other concerts in the area,” he said.

The band had another big day on March 19, playing at the Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) All-Star Band concert in Cadillac. Flutist Megan Mulherin, baritone saxophonist Mason Marks, trombonist Garrett Hansen, tuba player Josh Meisenheimer and percussionist Hannah Zinn were named to the MSBOA District 1 All-Star Band, and performed alongside students from other area schools in Cadillac.

Kuczynski attributes the success the LHS musicians to the commitment and focus of the students.

“Having students consistently receive high marks is a testament to their hard work and dedication to the arts,” Kuczynski said. “The part I love the most is how involved the students are. They are on many different athletic teams, Quiz Bowl, theater, choir, robotics and many other groups in our school and community, all while receiving great academic marks.”

He added that parents have also been instrumental in the students’ success.

“I definitely have to give parents credit for the support and guidance they give to these incredible young adults and the band program,” he said.

The band is looking forward to keeping up the momentum with a series of concerts in the coming months, including the Saturday, March 27, performance at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

Kuczynski said the band is a diverse and close-knit group of players of varying experience levels, working together to bring out the best in one another.

“One aspect of band that’s incredible is that you’ve got so many different levels of musical growth within the group, from those who’ve played for years to those who’ve played for months,” he said. “We also have foreign-exchange students from Berlin and Hiroshima performing with us.

“We all come together for a common goal and no one is left behind. We are a family.”

For more information about LHS band events, follow Ludington Bands on Facebook.