The Student Journalism Site of Millard South High School

We Are Millard South

The Student Journalism Site of Millard South High School

We Are Millard South

The Student Journalism Site of Millard South High School

We Are Millard South

Melodies of achievement: A symphony of success at District Music Contest

Bella+Voce+performs+Shine+on+Me+by+Aaron+Fisher+at+DMC.+Photo+courtesy+of+Jason+Stevens
Bella Voce performs Shine on Me by Aaron Fisher at DMC. Photo courtesy of Jason Stevens
Graphic by Shelby Neeley

For many students, April brings anticipation and excitement for spring break and the upcoming end of the school year. For the majority of students involved in the music department, however, the main event in April is the District Music Contest, or DMC.

“District Music Contest is a festival competition where everybody of the same school sizes from the metro area will compete in competition towards a standard. So everybody gets to play for judges and then you get scored on your performance and a rating,” says orchestra director Dr. Brittany Rom. “DMC is a good opportunity for everybody to work really hard to up their musicianship all year and then show off their skills in an attempt to get a rating of a 1 or a perfect 1 from all judges.”

“DMC is split up into two parts, there is large group contest, so that is going to be Wind Ensemble, chamber orchestra, Singers, and then we can take a treble and a bass voice group as well. Jazz choir as well,” explains Amy Sweets, a choral director at Millard South, “The other half of District Music Contest is for soloists and small ensembles. So anybody who wants to prepare an art song type of solo could take that and be adjudicated and receive a score.”

     One example of a small group is that of Cantori small group. Here at Millard South, there are four curricular choirs.

The lowest choirs- and the only ones available for freshmen- don’t require any audition or previous choir experience and they are Macho Voce, which is the bass group, and Bella Voce, which has only treble voices. Next on the totem pole is Cantori, which requires an audition and is filled with mostly sophomores, but is open also to juniors and seniors. The varsity choir is Singers, which also requires an audition and only admits juniors and seniors.

At DMC, schools are only allowed to enter one mixed group, which is Singers, so those in Cantori would miss out on a DMC experience. However, choral directors Sweets and Jason Stevens have come up with a solution. Sweets, who directs Cantori, puts together a group of 12-20 Singers in Cantori to enter as a small group/ ensemble in DMC.

“So we cannot take Cantori as a large ensemble because schools are only able to enter one large mixed ensemble. For us that’s Singers, since they’re the varsity choir. So instead we pull out a small group, this year it’s 20, of Cantori to perform a piece as a miscellaneous ensemble on the solo and ensemble day,” Sweets said.

Orchestra is also allowed only one large group, so the varsity chamber orchestra is the ensemble that goes to DMC. The orchestra is also somewhat organized by grade, as the lowest-level orchestra, philharmonic, is filled only with freshmen. The next group up, symphony, has a combination of sophomore, junior, and senior musicians, much like Cantori. Unlike in the choir department, where anyone can take a solo or small ensemble to DMC, in orchestra only those in chamber orchestra are permitted to take a solo or small ensemble to DMC. Junior Hope Weber shared her experience taking a solo to DMC.

“It was a really good opportunity to be able to improve on my performing. Playing in front of a judge is not usually something that we are able to do, and I got to play a solo that I was working on with my private teacher.”       While Hope has experience as a soloist through her private lessons, many players take DMC as an opportunity to build confidence and general skills.

It was a really good opportunity to be able to improve my performing. Playing in front of a judge is not usually something we are able to do

— Hope Weber

       There are also three bands at MSHS. The beginners’ band is Concert Band, which is mostly filled with freshmen, but, for the most part, bands are not divided by grade. The next band up is Symphonic Band, and the highest level band is Wind Ensemble, which is the only band that will be attending DMC. The band has a separate solo contest at Millard South. They bring in their own judges, and students who are not in Jazz Band- an extracurricular band- are required to be in a small ensemble or perform a solo. Because of this, there are no small groups or soloists from band attending DMC.

Follow MSHS orchestra on instagram @mshsorchestras

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About the Contributors
Grace Perkinson
Grace Perkinson, Reporter
Grace is a sophomore. Aside from Newspaper, she also is involved in the varsity show choir. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog, reading, and hanging out with her friends.
Shelby Neeley
Shelby Neeley, Online Editor-in-Chief
Shelby is a senior in her second year in journalism. In addition to Newspaper, Shelby is also on the Yearbook this year. She is also involved in Slam Poetry and bowling. In her free time, she likes to teach herself instruments and listen to music. 
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