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James Clemens Band clinches praises in Atlanta, Decatur and at home

James Clemens High School 2013 Symphonic Band (CONTRIBUTED)
James Clemens High School 2013 Symphonic Band (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Instrumentalists in the James Clemens High School Symphonic Band rehearsed hundreds of hours for performance commitments on their spring semester schedule.

In April, the Jets participated in the Dixie Classic National Adjudicators Invitational at the Atlanta Symphony Hall in the Woodruff Arts Center.

“The band received a superior rating, the highest rating possible, as well as outstanding brass section and outstanding woodwind section,” James Clemens director Keith Anderson said. Olivia Johnston also was awarded outstanding flute soloist.

Anderson is a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT).

The Jets’ concert program featured “Espana Cani” by Robert Longfield, “Alleluia” by Samuel Hazo and “Chorale and Shaker Dance” by John Zdechlik. “All three pieces presented their own challenges, but ‘Alleluia’ and ‘Chorale and Shaker Dance’ really pushed the students to excel musically,” Anderson said.

In March, the band performed at the Alabama Music Performance Assessment at Decatur High School. James Clemens earned a “superior rating with distinction,” the highest possible rating at this event. This scoring “requires all ‘A’s’ from all judges in all categories,” Anderson said.

For Anderson, receiving a superior with distinction was very humbling. “These students worked extremely hard and, to earn that rating, speaks volumes about the musicianship and dedication of each and every student,” he said. “The students were proud of their efforts and the realization that hard work does pay off.”

An integral part of the James Clemens Arts Fest this week, the band’s percussion ensemble performed with guest soloist Dr. Iain Moyer from the University of North Alabama. The James Clemens Band Spring Concert is May 9 at 6:30 p.m.

“Our Fine Arts Finale, which incorporates our band, choir, drama, visual arts and broadcasting departments, will be May 10 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium,” Anderson said. “We would love for the community to be there to show their support for the arts.”

Stuart Tankesley is assistant band director and choir director.

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