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Draper Journal

Summit Academy musicians score top awards at festival

Jul 25, 2017 02:39PM ● By Julie Slama

Summit Academy musicians proudly show off the trophies they earned at the Music in the Parks festival. (Alan Larson/Summit Academy)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

An eight-piece band claimed the top award at Music in the Parks festival.
That concert band consisted of musicians playing flute, clarinet, trumpet and trombone and performed two songs: “Clash of the Warriors,” by Rob Grice and “Nottingham Castle” by Larry Daehn under the direction of Alan Larson.
Summit Academy not only brought home the best overall junior high/middle school concert band trophy, but also got all superior marks.
The school also was honored with its Espirit de Corps trophy for good sportsmanship.
“When they announced it, the kids were screaming,” Larson said. “It was like the entire table exploded and started dancing and yelling. We just went crazy. It’s a big honor as it meant other groups respected our musicians and said we were a pleasure to work with. All of our groups did well, taking first or second places.”
The guitar 1 class, playing “Time is on My Side” by Jerry Ragovoy and the traditional Shaker song, “Simple Gifts,” also took first place with superior marks.
Orchestra, playing Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3” and Larry Clark’s “Contredanse” won first place with excellent ranks.
Guitar 2 earned excellent marks and finished second. They performed “Blue Danube Waltz” by Johann Strauss and the folk song “Irish Washerwoman.”
Summit Academy’s concert choir sang “O Sifuni Mungu” arranged by Roger Emerson and “Homeward Bound” arranged by Jay Althouse and received second place with excellent marks.
“Music classes are electives and we have about 60 seventh- and eighth-grade students who performed at Lagoon. We’re small, but growing and improving. Last year, we only had three groups and each won, earned first places and excellent marks,” he said, adding this is his third year directing the program.
Larson said the groups began working on their music in January before performing for the community in March. He chose pieces that showed contrast to give students a challenge and at the same time demonstrate the students’ talents.
Aside from the awards, he said students learn other factors performing at festivals.
“The festival adds more educational value when students work hard on pieces and then show judges what they’re capable of. They get feedback from professional musicians to improve and we’ve talked about those things every day. They also see what their peers are doing in neighboring schools and states. And they’re taking an important role — they’re taking pride in their ensemble and school and helping build our program,” Larson said.
Summit Academy competed in the 1A division, which is open to schools with an enrollment of 750 students or less. The festival was open to school music programs in Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming.
“Our program is building and really blossoming,” said Principal Tyler Whittle. “The kids are excited going to competitions and have done quite well — so well, in fact, we’ve built a trophy shelf for the program in the band room. They’re excited to work hard and be rewarded for their effort and it shows their pride in our school.”