Concert Band Receives Superior Ratings for Second Year

Concert Band Receives Superior Ratings for Second Year

On Friday, March 15, 2024, the Mount Airy High School Concert Band traveled to the Northwest District Bandmasters Association (NWDBA) Music Performance Adjudication (MPA). Hosted annually at Lenoir-Rhyne University in March, this is the second time since the 1980s that Mount Airy has performed at MPA. The band received a superior rating this year, the highest rating a band can achieve! This is their second superior in two years.

MPA is a state-sanctioned concert band festival held in all seven band districts across the state for middle school and high school bands to attend. Each band is required to prepare three pieces of music to be assessed: a march, and two other pieces within a specific grade level based on the band’s skill level. Band literature is divided up as Grades I, II, III, IV, V, VI, or Masterworks. Due to the number of factors that determine the rating of a piece of music, this is only a rough guideline.  For example, individuals often think only of very fast, technically challenging pieces of music as being “hard”, but soft, lyrical, slow music can be a tremendous challenge for the individual and the ensemble. 

The stage performance is assessed by three judges and the sight-reading is by one judge (typically active and/or retired band directors) where they judge categories including Tone, Intonation, Technique, Balance, Interpretation, and Musical Effect. Each judge gives the band a rating of 1-Superior, 2-Excellent, 3-Average, 4-Below Average, and 5-Poor. In addition to the rating, they provide written comments as well as a recording of critique that each band can use to improve.

Following this performance, each band is required to perform a piece of music they have never seen before after a brief preparation period. This section, called sight-reading, determines if the students have developed fundamental music-reading skills and the ability to play with good musical style as an ensemble at first sight of a piece of music. 

It is important to note that bands are not “competing” against one another like at a marching band competition or at an athletic event; each band is performing for their own benefit to improve!

The Mount Airy High School Concert Band is excited to have achieved a superior rating. Mr. Nick Tirpak, Director of Bands, was thrilled with these results and very proud of his students. “My students have worked so hard to achieve this honor. They have risen to the occasion and proven that hard work and dedication pays off. I am so proud of them not only for this, but every day!”

Abby Moser, a senior horn player, said that she “...had a great time at MPA. We have been putting in months of hard work and effort towards this and it really paid off when we were able to receive a Superior rating. I am proud to be a part of this amazing band! Despite our small size, we were still able to fill up the room like a big band.” Blaize Tolbert, a sophomore trombonist, echoed those sentiments. “I liked how MPA helped our band get closer. The band faced a lot of struggles very quickly and adapted with no issues. Doing flex pieces not only brought out our amazing band's extreme talent and deepened our musicality, but also built our relationship to one another further.” Alania Moore, a senior flute player,  believes that “MPA is a great experience that all bands should participate in. MPA is a way for bands to grow because it is not just going and being judged to get a score. I enjoyed MPA because I went with our band, got to perform in a college, and it shows every year how much our band has grown and pushed ourselves.”

The Mount Airy High School Concert Band will be traveling to Carowinds on April 6, 2024 to perform at the “Festival of Music.” Their spring concert is on May 17, 2024 at 7:00pm.


Alania Moore - senior

Ethan Garner

Blaize Tolbert

Jacob Pinto

Abby Moser - senior

Elliot Marion

Audrina Goins

Carlos Garcia

Jacob Rudisill

Luis Torres

Rebecca Hayes

James Caudill

Benjamin Welch

Madeline Caudill

Nathaniel Duncan

Nicholas Calvillo-Solis - senior

Kelsey Golding

Peyton Goins

Jackson Stevens

Edwards Lopez - senior