NEW PORT RICHEY — After months of planning, rehearsals, marching drills and performances held mid-game on Friday nights, it all comes down to this: the Florida Bandmaster Association District 5 Marching Music Performance Assessment.
The event, held Nov. 8 in the stadium of River Ridge Middle/High School, brought marching bands from three counties together for a season-ending music marathon. Twenty-one high school bands and one middle school band from Citrus, Hernando and Pasco counties took to the field to be graded on their halftime shows that, by the way, featured some rather eclectic selections. Think the tunes of the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Earth Wind and Fire and the Animals crossed with Les Miserables, West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar and more.
According to River Ridge Middle band director Travis Henry, who hosted the event with River Ridge High School director Robert Cook, the bands are judged on their level of mastery of musical performance, marching and maneuvering, and the general effect of the overall show.
The auxiliaries (color guard) and percussion sections are also assessed. The overall rating is given by combining the scores of the music, general effect and marching judges.
The marching assessment is one of four major district assessments that band students take part in over the school year. The others include jazz band, solo/ensemble events and concert band. There are state level assessments for concert, solo/ensemble events and jazz band.