Pine City Band Sweeps Regional Music Contest

Monday, March 19th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Pine City High Schools’ Wind Ensemble, comprised of 78 students in grades 10 through 12, traveled to Large Group Music Contest last week and came back to Pine City with the highest possible rating for the seventh straight year.

This year’s event was hosted by Rush City High School and featured bands from nine area high schools. Pine City not only earned unanimous “Superior” ratings from each of the three judges, but also did so while performing music in what is called Category 1, the most difficult level of music available to high school ensembles.

The band reprised two selections that were featured at the recent Senior High Concert: a beautiful setting of the classic American folk tune “Shenandoah” arranged by Frank Ticheli and an ambitiously epic work for band entitled “Africa: Ceremony, Song, and Ritual” by Robert W. Smith. “Africa” is an exceptionally difficult work that highlights the percussion section and is based on indigenous folk traditions of West Africa. Not only does the work require authentic African instruments such as log drums and the gankogui, but it also calls upon performers to sing musical phrases in addition to playing.

Local residents and music lovers will want to mark their calendars for the band’s final concert of the year, the annual Pops Spectacular, which takes place on Friday, May 4 at 7:30pm, under the direction of instructor Brad Mariska.


  1. cclune 03/19/12 at 4:17pm

    Congratulations once again to all the talented kids, and to Mr. Mariska- Pine City is very fortunate to have such an amazing director!

  2. Njohnson 03/20/12 at 10:59am

    Further evidence that Pine City music educators are going above and beyond, and are effective at educating! Keep up the great work, Mr. Mariska, and everyone involved!

  3. Jose 03/30/12 at 7:06pm

    I know that big bands are not typically apart of “American Idol” type music contests but I would have no problem voting for their entries if I liked them the best. I recently found a site, that I enjoy a lot. I like the format of Make A Star better because there are monthly competitions, leading to a quicker turn around, and I feel like everyone worldwide has a equal chance of at least being heard and even winning. Each month users vote for their favorites and about a week into the month the top 8 vote getters are entered into a tournament bracket where, in phase 2, the votes come from users as well as an expert panel of judges. I find the contest like American Idol + YouTube with a very large social aspect.

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