WARRENSBURG — Every year, bands and ensembles across Missouri submit their best performances for a chance to perform at the Missouri Music Educators Association State Convention.
Led by Director of Bands Anthony Pursell, this is the first time the University of Central Missouri wind ensemble, consisting of graduate and undergraduate students, has been selected to perform at the convention since 2014.
Bands, orchestras and choirs with musicians of all ages, from elementary to university, from across the state compete to be selected to perform at the annual convention. Once they perform, an ensemble is not eligible to perform at the convention again from three years.
The pieces submitted for the wind ensemble were “Milestone”, by Robert Langenfeld, written for President Roger Best’s inauguration; “Remember Me”, by David Maslanka, featuring Professor of Cello Michael Bersin; and “Stars and Stripes Forever”, by John Philip Sousa.
To be selected, a band must submit three contrasting pieces.
During the selection process, judges do not know any identifying information about the group they hear performing.
To remain unbiased, the selection process is conducted by a review committee, selected by the MMEA vice-president, comprised of out-of-state adjudicators.
“What makes this so difficult is that in order to submit, a director must feel confident not only that the current ensemble is worthy of acceptance, but also that the group the following year — the group that will actually perform — is also worthy of acceptance,” MMEA President Brian Reeves said. “Put another way, one has to win a state championship two years in a row. It is the highest statewide honor to which a Missouri music ensemble can aspire.”
Reeves said 3,600 people have registered for the convention and total foot traffic is expected to be about 10,000 people.
Numerous concerts are planned during the four-day convention, Jan. 22 to 25, 2020, hosted at Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach.
The UCM wind ensemble will perform Jan. 24 at the convention. The convention is private and the performance will not be open to the public.
According to the MMEA website, “The Missouri Music Educators Association is a federated association of the NAfME: The National Association for Music Education which includes nearly 80,000 Music Educators dedicated to providing a comprehensive, well-balanced, sequential and quality education to every child in America.”
Other bands selected for the convention are the Clayton High School Symphonic Band, the Fort Zumwalt North Middle School Eighth Grade Concert Band, Francis Howell Central High School Spartan Wind Ensemble, Jefferson City High School Symphonic Band, Kansas City Wind Symphony, Kearney High School Wind Ensemble, Lafayette County C-1 High School Concert Band, Missouri State University Wind Symphony and Rockwood South Middle School Eighth Grade Concert Band.
Choirs selected are Central High School Women’s Chorus, Fort Zumwalt South High School Chamber Choir, Heritage Middle School Bella Voce, Northwest Missouri State University Tower Choir, Park Hill South High School A Cappella Choir, Platte County High School Concert Choir, Springfield Chamber Chorus, Warsaw High School Women’s Choir, Willard High School Chamber Choir and the University of Missouri — Kansas City Conservatory Concert Choir.
Orchestras selected are Clayton Elementary/Middle School Vivace/ViBravo Orchestra Ensemble, North Kirkwood Middle School Orchestra, Parkway West High School Symphonic Orchestra, University of Missouri Philharmonic Orchestra and Young People’s Symphonic Orchestra. Small ensembles selected are Truman State University Clarinet Choir and the University of Missouri — St. Louis Percussion Ensemble.
Inman Intermediate Sixth Grade Selected Choir and Ozark Elementary Tiger Tones were selected in the Elementary category.
The Fairview Elementary Songbirds were selected for General Music.
Missouri State University Jazz Ensemble and St. Louis University High School Jazz Band were selected for the Jazz category.