Eleven bands compete at Hinsdale Middle School
Richard Lehman, director, leads the CHMS Concert Band in three musical pieces. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 18, 2013 6:48PM
HINSDALE — Eleven bands competed at Hinsdale Middle School Saturday in a state competition that evaluated the musicians’ playing and performing skills.
The concert and symphonic bands from both Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills middle schools participated in the contest organized by the Illinois Grade School Music Association.
Each band played three pieces for the audience and three judges, who are high school band directors or retired band directors.
“They are very proficient at their craft,” said Richard Lehman, director of the Clarendon Hills concert band.
The judges score the groups on intonation, balance and blend, rhythmic precision, stage presence, musicianship and other characteristics.
The symphonic bands from both Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills, and the Clarendon Hills concert band received Division 1 ranking, the highest level, Lehman said. The Hinsdale concert band was ranked Division 2.
But more important than the rankings, were the advice the judges gave each band after their performance.
“With my group, for example, the judge worked on finishing the ends of their phrases,” Lehman said. “He wanted them to continue to push their air.”
“In just 10 minutes with the judge, you can hear a vast improvement,” Lehman said.
He may have talked to the students about the same techniques, but sometimes it’s more effective when they hear it from a different mouth and in a different way,” Lehman said.
The event also is educational for Lehman, Terry Melbourn, the director of the Clarendon Hills symphonic band, and Scott Oliver and Janelle Sanfillippo, the teachers who direct the Hinsdale Middle School bands.
“We learn what areas are we doing pretty well and what areas do we need to improve,” Lehman said.