March was the month designated as â€œMusic In Our Schools Monthâ€ by the Music Educators National Conference, the national organization for school music teachers.
The North Lincoln High School performing arts department was very active during the month of March and reaped many accolades, honors and recognitions for studentsâ€™ hard work and dedication.
The production of â€œBeauty and the Beastâ€ began the month with standing ovations and rave reviews the four days the musical was presented in the NLHS auditorium. Directed by Joanna Underwood, the musical in classic Disney style was a great success for the drama, choral and band students and faculty.
Mid-March is always â€œfestival timeâ€ for school music organizations. State festivals are located in six district locations throughout N.C. for high school bands, middle school bands and choruses to compete for ratings of superior, excellent, average, fair or poor. Of course, every group strives for the â€œIâ€ or the state â€œsuperiorâ€ rating.
On March 16th, the NLHS Concert Choir, conducted by Joanna Underwood, attended State Festival at Wingate University. It was awarded straight â€œsuperiorsâ€ for their stage performance.
Also on the same day, the NLHS Symphonic Band, conducted by Neil Underwood, attended its state festival at Shelby High School and was awarded straight â€œsuperiorsâ€ on stage with an â€œexcellentâ€ rating in sight-reading. This resulted in an overall rating of â€œsuperior.â€ Both the Concert Choir and Symphonic Band were in Grade III/IV level music.
The next day, March 17, the NLHS Wind Ensemble, conducted by Neil Underwood, attended State Festival at Shelby High School in Grade VI literature (the highest grade a band can enter). The ensemble received straight â€œsuperiorsâ€ on stage and a â€œsuperiorâ€ in sight-reading. Not only did the group earn all â€œsuperiors,â€ it was also given all â€œA and A+â€ marks on every judgeâ€™s sheet. It was accorded the only standing ovation the entire four days of festival.
Topping off, the NLHS â€œBand of Knightsâ€ Winterguard, under the leadership of instructor Lisa Biggs, placed fourth in the Carolina Indoor Performance Associationâ€™s championships. Its fourth place finish was out of 19 units in their division, with teams hailing from North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
NLHS students, parents, and staff are very proud of their â€œMusic In Our Schools Monthâ€ accomplishments.
Their hard work didnâ€™t end there, however. From April 28 through May 1, the â€œBand of Knightsâ€ traveled to Washington, D.C. as North Carolinaâ€™s representative and performed in the 60th anniversary celebration of the ending of WWII. Though weather did not permit the originally scheduled performance at the National WWII Memorial, the â€œBand of Knightsâ€ did perform to a standing room only crowd at the old post office pavilion in downtown Washington. Their performance was met with applause, tears and cheers. This performance was recognized with acknowledgment letters from Gov. Mike Easley and Congressman Patrick McHenry, congratulating the North Lincoln band for their outstanding accomplishments.
Upcoming concerts for the NLHS â€œBand of Knightsâ€ include performances for the PTA on May 10; the annual Spring Honors concert (along with the NLHS Concert Choir) on May 17; and a performance for Senior Awards Night on May 26.
On Saturday, the â€œBand of Knightsâ€ will serve as the host for the South Central District Band Associationâ€™s Solo and Ensemble Festival at North Lincoln High School.
For further information about performances of the â€œBand of Knightsâ€ call NLHS at (704) 736-1969.
by Special to the LTN