It was a banner day for the instrumental and vocal musicians of H.B. Whitehorne Middle School last Friday. Their annual trip to the “Music in the Parks” band competition in southern New Jersey netted a series of awards for the ensembles and some of their individual musicians.
The White Band received a rating of Excellent, and first place. The Maroon Band, which is not in a competitive class, also received a rating of Excellent. The Gold Band received a rating of Excellent, and first place. The Jazz Band received a rating of Superior, and won both first place and best overall jazz band. HB Voices, one of the school’s two vocal groups, received a rating of Excellent and first place, while the audition-only Acoustics received a rating of Excellent and first place.
In addition, trumpet player Austin Yee received a medal for best jazz musician for the second year in a row, and Michael Nothe was deemed best accompanist of a vocal group.
The groups had performed for judges at two Monroe Township schools and then traveled to Great Adventure for the awards ceremony and some well-deserved R&R. Verona middle schoolers report to HBW at 7:45 a.m. to practice, 45 minutes before the rest of their schoolmates start their day. Almost half of HBW’s students participate in some musical group, and many of them are in more than one. The middle school music program is directed by Dan Halpern, Brian Michalowski and Amanda Hamilton.
The Jazz Band performed “Malaguena” at its spring concert on May 15. Give a listen:
Photos courtesy Ron Albanese and Lisa Knothe. Used by permission.