Monday, April 23 marked the completion of the 2018 Concert Series with an exhibition event at The Kimmel Center in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. The event featured 12 ensembles from New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Georgia high schools.
The students were in awe as they entered the world famous Verizon Hall in The Kimmel Center. This spacious hall was an exceptional venue for young performing musicians and audiences.
“They heard themselves in a way they would have never heard themselves,” stated Gia Walton, Cherry Hill East Wind Ensemble Director.
The students agreed, Grant McIntyre, a tenor saxophonist and freshman from Darien High School, was excited about how the sound “echoes for half a second after you stop playing.” Cherry Hill East seniors and french horn players Cate Marcelli and Kira Mahoney, both commented on the difference they could hear in sound and shared “we had fun.”
Following their performance, students met with one of the observing adjudicators for a feedback clinic. When asked, both students and directors found this clinic to be “helpful.” A first time participant of the event, Cherry Hill East Wind Ensemble Director, Gia Walton, found the feedback to be more “nitty-gritty” instead of the vague, general feedback she had experienced at other events. This year’s esteemed adjudicators were Dr. Joesph H. Allison, Professor of Music at Eastern Kentucky University; Thomas McCauley, Director of Bands at Montclair State University; and, Timothy Leonelli of the Boston College Bands Program.
After completing the clinic, students packed up their instruments and could support the other ensembles by joining the audience.
Directors, students, and parents gave positive feedback regarding the event. Proud parents enjoyed seeing and hearing their children in such a professional and grand venue, emphasizing the amazing acoustics of the venue. The students were thrilled for the opportunity to be on such a professional and large stage; for some of these students it was their only opportunity to play outside of a school setting.