The Mount Carmel School Band took home the silver award in its category at the Tumon Bay Music Festival. This was the first time the school’s band, led by Julian Greening, competed in the festival. It was a new experience for those students who have never competed before, and especially for those who have never held an instrument before the creation of the band.
Aside from competing and performing, the students were able to attend band clinics and socialize with other experienced musicians. Asked about the experience, Greening said, “I loved seeing my students improve as musicians in the festival. Watching them listen to other performers, and enjoying the experience was my favorite part!”
In addition to Greening, longtime collaborator and conductor for the Saipan Pacific Winds, Atsuko Eck, also helped the band prepare and perform.
This was new territory for the young musicians. As this was their first time competing, they didn’t know what to expect. The Knights performed their competition pieces in three different venues. First, they played in a ballroom at Guam’s Lotte Hotel. Second, the Knights performed at Santa Barbara Catholic School in Dededo. Lastly, the MCS Band performed and competed at the mall, drawing in large crowds of shoppers and bystanders who weren’t expecting a live performance. All performing venues were supported by large audiences with a mix of age groups, ranging from toddlers to the elderly.
The festival was divided into four categories and different age divisions. The categories were choirs, soloists and small ensembles, jazz, rock and beyond, and bands and orchestras. The MCS Band competed in the band and orchestra category in the 6th-8th grade division. They competed against schools in Guam like St. John’s School, L.P. Untalan Middle School, and Guam Adventist Academy.
The performances, regardless of category or age division, were judged based on a set of criteria. The tone, rhythm accuracy, presentation, and appearance of the performers added up to the groups final score. Based on their score, the performers were awarded a bronze, silver, or gold award. The Mount Carmel School Concert Band received a silver award based on their performance.
The students were just as excited as their mentor to put their hard work, and long practices to use. Although the MCS Band has performed multiple times on Saipan, this was their first time performing and competing off-island. According to the students of the MCS Band, their favorite part of the whole experience was performing in front of new people in new places
This was Guam’s 14th annual Tumon Bay Band Music Festival, which was founded by Maximo Ronquillo, Jr., the 8th music director of the Guam Territorial Band. The festival featured a wide variety of musical performances from dozens of groups from around the region. Events included a Choral & Hand Bell Festival, a Solo & Small Ensemble Festival, Jazz, Rock, & Beyond performances, a Band & Orchestra Festival, and an Encore Concert & Award Ceremony. (PR)