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Yorktown and Williamsburg Earn Blue Ribbon Award from Virginia Music Educators Association

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Throughout the month of March all APS middle and high school band, choir and orchestra students participated in the District XII state music assessments which are part of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association (VBODA) and Virginia Choral Directors Association (VCDA). The concert stage assessment consists of up to two or three prepared musical literature selections. One unannounced selection is learned in less than ten minutes and then performed by the students for the sight-reading evaluation.

Every APS participating group received a rating of either Excellent (II) or Superior (I). The bands and orchestras from Wakefield, Washington-Liberty, and Yorktown all received Superior Ratings. The distinguished Blue Ribbon Award was bestowed to both Yorktown High School and Williamsburg Middle School. To receive the Blue-Ribbon Award, the band, chorus, and orchestras from each school must all receive a Superior rating.

The music performed is selected from a state list, including thousands of pieces of music literature. The lists include high-quality literature determined to have educational and musical merit and are organized by difficulty level or “Grade.” Beginning ensembles perform Grade 1 through to college ensembles that perform Grade 6. During each performance, trained and experienced adjudicators record audio and written comments using rubrics and rating sheets. For bands, performances are evaluated on tone quality, intonation, technique, rhythm, balance, musicianship, and general factors. For choruses, performances are evaluated on tone, intonation, diction, musical effect, and stage presence. The letter grades are then averaged to a rating.

Ratings: Superior = I = A Excellent = II= B Good = III = C Fair = IV= D Poor = V = F

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