Both the Canfield High School Chamber Ensemble and the One Octave Higher Female Ensemble received superior marks at the District V Ohio Music Education Association large group district competition March 15 at Howland Middle School. Both ensembles are under the direction of Kelly Scurich.
Both ensembles received a superior rating, which qualifies them for state competition in April. This is the 15th consecutive year that the choirs will be going to state competition.
The Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) is the Ohio state-level affiliate of MENC: The National Association for Music Education. Of the 52 federated state affiliates of MENC, the OMEA is the third largest and is the only state-level affiliate chartered as a music education association rather than a music educators association. The OMEA was founded in 1924 as the Ohio School Band Association (OSBA) by fourteen band directors to promote high school band contests in Ohio. Canfield and the surrounding area schools are located in OMEA District V.
The One Octave girls performed “Fire, Fire” by Thomas Morely, “Deo Dicamus” by Victor Johnson and “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel” by Earlene Rentz. The Chamber Ensemble performed “Cantate Domino” by Mark Hayes, “Soldier Boy” by John Rutter and “Goin’ to the Auction” by Randall Stroope.
The ensembles perform their selections in front of a panel of three judges who rate the groups from “I” being the best performance, to “V” being the very poorest performance. These scores are then combined with a fourth judge who adjudicates sight-reading. The sight-reading consists of two readings that the director and students have not seen. The first reading is with piano accompaniment and the second is without. These four scores are then combined. The Chamber Ensemble received all superior ratings and One Octave Higher received three superior ratings and an excellent rating in sight-reading.
“I am very proud of our One Octave and Chambers Ensembles students. The students practiced throughout the school day for months ahead of time and learned not only the song selections but also strengthened their sight reading, which is a part of the competition,” Scurich said.
She added that the OMEA large group adjudicated event is a prestigious competition at which to participate, as it attracts schools from all over the district.
“Time and time again I hear how professional our students present themselves. They represent the school in a very positive way,” she said.
The Chambers Ensemble is comprised of both male and female students while One Octave Higher is an all-female choir. Students must go through a rigorous audition process to be chosen for the groups and spots are limited. Both Chambers and One Octave are classroom based and perform throughout the community.
The final concert of the year will be May 22 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. It is free and open to the public.