A lot of training, preparation goes into MPA event

Commentary by Zoe King
Times-News correspondent

   Every spring semester, high school and middle school bands start preparations for the moment when they will be judged on their ability to play music. School bands from all across the state will come to designated areas throughout the month of March to perform in front of judges well-suited for the job of measuring a band’s ability. This event is called Music Performance Adjudication, or MPA.
Part of the preparation for MPA includes selecting the actual pieces of music to play. The music must be selected from a list provided by the MPA officials. Most of the time, the band director will choose the music he or she thinks his or her band can play best, but in the case of Southern Alamance High School this year, the students were allowed to vote on the three pieces they wanted to play.
   After the music is selected, the difficult part begins. It may be easy to play what’s on the sheet of music, but just doing that won’t earn you a stellar score. A lot of the training and preparation is spent learning how to make what’s on the page come to life and entertain the audience, and in this case, the judges as well. This can be a challenging part of the process, but it also helps the students learn how to be overall better musicians.
In the end, all the weeks and months of preparation boil down to one day, or in reality, less than half an hour of performing. It’s nerve-wracking to have all the hard work of a semester lead up to this one moment when anything could potentially happen or go wrong. Every student in the band hopes for the best score, and if they’ve worked hard enough and are dedicated to their music they are guaranteed to have a good performance or at least have fun while playing music they enjoy with their friends.

 Zoe King is a junior at Southern Alamance High School and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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