The Big Rapids Middle School Band is showing some real talent and is in some very elite company. Earlier this month, 28 7th and 8th grade students were nominated to perform with the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association Honors Band, and just this week they found out they've been selected to perform at the 12th Annual Michigan Music Conference in Grand Rapids.
Middle School Music Instructor Albie Todd says it's the first time the band has been selected and getting there isn't easy.
“You have to include things like the [Solo and Ensemble] Festival ratings for the past five years, you have to submit a recording, you have to get letters of recommendation from respected teachers in the field.”
Then, the band had to pass muster with a panel of music education professionals from across the state.
“There's a blind panel who listens to the recordings, so they don't know who they're listening to. They know that it's a middle school band and that's all they know,” says Todd.
Last year's conference featured approximately 9,000 teachers, administrators, students, speakers, and guests. The band will be performing at 8:00 am in the DeVos Performance Hall on Friday, January 20, 2017.
Todd says the students would appreciate a big turnout of Big Rapids residents at the concert, but for those unable to attend, there will be a preview concert at 7:00 pm on Tuesday January 17, 2017 at the Big Rapids High School auditorium.