KMS, Golden Valley music students lauded for high marks

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Standing before the Kingman Unified School District’s governing board Tuesday evening, Kingman Middle School band director Julie Gragg presents a pair of awards her honor band students recently won in music festivals at Prescott and Tempe. Gragg has been a firm defender of the district’s music and arts programs in the face of state budget cuts. She thanked the district for its continued support and praised the students for their hard work and dedication in achieving their top honors.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Standing before the Kingman Unified School District’s governing board Tuesday evening, Kingman Middle School band director Julie Gragg presents a pair of awards her honor band students recently won in music festivals at Prescott and Tempe. Gragg has been a firm defender of the district’s music and arts programs in the face of state budget cuts. She thanked the district for its continued support and praised the students for their hard work and dedication in achieving their top honors.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

KINGMAN - The Kingman Middle School Honor Band hit another high note April 10 at the Arizona Music Educators Association's Pageant of Bands in Tempe. The group of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade musicians, under band director Julie Gragg, received a First Division - Superior rating at the state level competition.

In its 45th consecutive year, festival adjudicators assessed each ensemble's musical abilities against a set rubric at the middle school level. Groups were evaluated on established criteria related to Arizona state music standards of musical technique, interpretation, tone quality, stage presence and ensemble unity. Festival judges rate each group on a six-point rating scale; Poor, Satisfactory, Good, Excellent, Superior and Superior with Distinction.

The honor is only the most recent received by the KMS honor band. Two weeks prior, on March 27, the band also earned a Superior with Distinction rating at the regional Arizona Band & Orchestra Directors Association's Large Group Festival at Prescott High School.

Band members turned out in force at the Kingman Unified School District's board meeting Tuesday evening to receive recognition for their accomplishments. The band played a rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" to kick off the meeting, where Gragg acknowledged the hard work that had gone into earning such high distinctions.

"We had the good fortune of a district that supports our endeavors, and we have some awesome middle school principals who help us show our talent and test our skills," Gragg said. "This was our AIMS test, and we have done so well."

Gragg also congratulated Golden Valley Middle School music director Michael Schreiber for his school's first-ever superior ranking at the ACDA Large Group Festival.

"We had the best overall rating that a school has ever had in the history of Golden Valley this year," Schreiber said. "The choir is an interesting story because out of the 30 kids in my choir, 26 of them had never sung in a choir before and they got a superior rating, which is the second-highest available."

Schreiber also praised the GVMS band for scoring an Excellent rating at the festival. "We have good things going on musically out in Golden Valley," he said. "So if you have a chance to get to a concert - like, say, May 13 - come down, see the show, and you will not be disappointed."