Riverhead Middle School musicians at Music in the Parks in Massachusetts. Courtesy photo: Riverhead Central School District

Riverhead Middle School students took home many honors when they competed with other school ensembles from all over the United States and Canada participate in the Music In The Parks competition.

The Riverhead Middle School show choir, wind ensemble, chamber orchestra and jazz band competed at Westfield High School in Massachusetts. Each of the Riverhead groups earned first place in its category, while jazz band member, Riley Wendt, earned an extra medal for best jazz soloist and show choir member, Kendal Kwasna, won a medal for best vocal soloist.

The Riverhead Middle School earned the Esprit de Corps trophy for the fourth consecutive year. This award is presented to students who demonstrate proper social behavior as well as musical behavior/encouragement. The winner of this award must possess the qualities of highly successful people who are sensitive to the feelings of others and applaud accomplishments no matter if by one’s own school or another school.

After their performances, students were able to enjoy an afternoon at Six Flags New England. In addition, however, to being a fun day at an amusement park, the competition is a learning experience for the students. Experienced instrumental and vocal teachers judging the performances offer suggestions on how to improve student and ensemble performance. The master teachers evaluate hundreds of ensembles throughout the course of a festival season and their comments can carry extra weight with the performers and offer reinforcement to the visiting music teachers’ own instruction according to a press release issued by the Riverhead Central School District.

Source: Press release issued by Riverhead Central School District dated June 14, 2017.

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