Po-Hi Orchestra sweeps state contest

Ponca City Now - February 26, 2014 3:09 pm

Ponca City Senior High Symphony Orchestra won the top Sweepstakes Awards at a sate contest.

The OSSAA contest was recently held at Edmond Santa Fe.

It was a two-part competition.

The first part was the concert performance on the concert stage.

The full orchestra group performed Millennium by Richard Meyer, and the strings concluded with the slow second movement from Serenade for Strings by Sir Edward Elgar.

Adjudicators were Valerie Bell from Kansas City, Mo., Russell Berlin from Lee’s Summit, Mo. and Fred Freeman from Sherman, Texas.

All three judges gave the group top marks and a superior.

The second part of the contest was the sight-reading room.

There were two sections to this part of the contest.

A 10-minute study and preparation period, and then the performance of the piece they have never seen or played before.

The full symphony orchestra group only had eight minutes of preparation time this year, but made good use of the time.

During the study part, they can count out loud, shadow bow, finger part on their instrument, clap, discuss and ask questions.

The only rule is they cannot make a sound on their instrument.

The group played a selection by Lennie Niehaus and earned all top marks on their way to a superior rating from the judging panel.

The judges group included David Circle from Stillwell, Kans., George McDow from Norman, Okla. and Larry Williams from Shawnee Mission, Kans.

This contest made up two of the three parts of the OSSAA Sweepstakes Award.

The other portion was held last November at the OSSAA State String Orchestra Contest.

The group earned all superior ratings at that contest, as well.

To determine the final rating at contest, OSSAA takes the three judges’ scores, drops the high and the low and what is left is the final rating.

Po-Hi Orchestra Director, Dan Larson said he was proud of the students.

“I was very proud of their performances this year," Larson said. "All in all, the group earned straight superior ratings this year on their way to the 2013-14 Sweepstakes Award. It has been a few years since the orchestra has been able to make a clean sweep earning all superior ratings from all judges at all contests. They represented our school and community well.”


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