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Kennedale
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Superior at all levels ? KISD Band

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Sports gets a lot of notice because of all the success in each sports and each level in Kennedale ISD. District titles are commonplace, playoff expectations are high. {{more: READ MORE …}}
 
But, there is another program that involves large numbers of students from intermediate to high school levels in KISD that has achieved a level of consistent success that defines the best of programs in the state. Those close to Kennedale ISD already know the program, but for those not so familiar, it is the KISD Band Program.

KHS Symphonic Band won superior

ratings at the UIL Region 30 Contest

Let?s count the ways ?
 
This year notched another level in the program?s honored tradition – a year of superior ratings in regional band contest for the high and junior high bands and a superior rating for the James Arthur Band at the annual Sandy Lake Competition.

JAA 6th Grade Band won

superior ratings at the Sandy Lake contest this spring

the rating system …
 
UIL Concert bands are judged on two performances one with prepared music and the other sight-reading (unrehearsed music). In each of those performances, there are three areas judged ? technique, musicianship and overall performance. The grading system has five grades possible – Division 1 ?Superior?, Division II ?Excellent?, Division III ?Average?, Division IV ?Below Average? and Division V ?Poor?. If it helps, you can think of A, B, C, D and E (for effort).
 
Bands typically get a mix of grades maybe 2?s and 3?s with a few 1?s. That would be an average score, the better the band the more consistency in the scores.
 
the results …
  • Kennedale not only got straight ones in their prepared concert performance but in the sight reading performance as well. And, this was repeated four times as Kennedale top bands from Kennedale High School and Kennedale Junior High School performed at the UIL Spring Concert Competition for Region 30 this semester. Note: This is the highest level of competition for school concert bands in the state competition.
  • A third band for newer students at the junior high scored no lower than excellent with scores of 3 ones in the stage performance and 3 twos in sight-reading.
  • The James Arthur Intermediate 6th Grade Band added to the district?s near sweep by scoring straight ones in their annual contest at Sandy Lake.
  • Then there were the individual performers. Approximately 65 KHS band students participated in the solo and ensemble Region 30 Contest. Twenty seven Superior (Division 1) ratings were awarded along with 16 Excellent (Division II) ratings. Twenty-one students advanced to the UIL State Solo and Ensemble Contest.
  • Not part of the UIL spring contests but another win for the band program was the KHS Indoor Drumline championship win in the North Texas Scholastic Triple A Competition, also earlier this semester. It was the first year for Kennedale to compete.
Sweepstakes winner once again ?
  • The UIL Sweepstakes is designed to reward excellence in the three most measurable aspects of public school band curriculum ? marching, prepare concert performance and ability to sight read music ?on the spot?. The first round of competition comes in the fall, where the UIL evaluates Marching Bands. Kennedale won first division ?superior rating? for their marching performance and finished 11th in the state. The second and third came with the spring UIL contesst.
  • With the sweep for the high school in each event, KHS won their 11th Sweepstakes award once again reinforcing that this is a superior program.

the constant ?

 
The one constant through it all has been Erol Oktay who is in his 15th year at Kennedale High School as Director of Bands.
 
Oktay recently told the KISD Board of Trustees, ??this is the first year to take 6 bands to UIL competition. My first year here, we had just two bands, the Junior High and the High School bands. It been an outstanding year.?
 
Oktay followed saying that it was an effort by all, including Director Ben Brown and Assistant Director Eleanor Marcias at Kennedale Junior High and Assistant Director Josie Inman and Assistant Director Jake Peralez at Kennedale High School. All of who teach and assist at every level including the intermediate school.

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