At the annual State of the Art Catholic Band Competition, Saint Viator’s symphonic band had a unique role: as last year’s grand champions, they returned this year as the 2016 honor band, playing in exhibition and setting the bar for excellence.
“Their performance was well done and well received,” said Mr. Vince Genualdi, band director, of the symphonic band’s three classical pieces that build toward a dramatic conclusion with “Italian in Algiers” by Rossini.
With the symphonic band out of the competition, that left it up to Saint Viator’s concert band to carry the torch and compete on their own in the Class A division for smaller ensembles.
The concert band, made up mostly of freshmen and sophomore musicians were up to the task. They took second place in the class, out of 10 schools, and won best in percussion for the group.
Their repertoire included a lyrical set, starting with “British Isles Suite” by Larry Daehn, before they played “Heaven’s Light” by Steven Reineke and concluded with “Celebration Tribalesque” by Randall Standridge, which showcased the band’s talented percussion section.
“Both ensembles performed with great musicality and attention to detail,” Mr. Genualdi added. “Our main goal was to perform each piece with the composer’s intent in mind.”
Members of the Knights of Columbus launched State of the Art in 1982 as a way to showcase band programs in Catholic schools and encourage music education. This year’s festival took place at Marian Catholic High School and drew bands from Notre Dame, Resurrection, Nazareth, Fenwick, St. Patrick’s, Mount Carmel, De LaSalle, Brother Rice, Mother McAuley, St. Laurence and Queen of Peace high schools, as well as Bishop Noll Institute, from Hammond, IN.
“This festival is a great way to take what we’re doing inside our band room out to the public,” Mr. Genualdi said. “Our goal will always be to perform at a high level of artistry. We strive to share our hard work with our audience members and hope that everyone leaves enjoying our performance.”