On Friday, May 4, 2012, members of The Hill School’s Music Department traveled to Hershey, Pa. to compete in the “Music in the Parks Festival.” Thirty-six different high school music groups from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey competed in the festival. In the competition, each ensemble was given 20 minutes to warm up privately, followed by a 20-25 minute performance spot, during which a panel of judges adjudicated the ensemble against rubric. Up to 100 points were awarded for each element of the performance, from rhythmic and pitch accuracy to musical interpretation and song selection.
At the end of the day, each group was given one of five ratings: Superior, Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor, and those that elected to be entered into competition are ranked. All three Hill ensembles - Jazz Band, Orchestra, and Mixed Chorus/Glee Club (Choir) - earned first place in their respective categories. Even more impressive is that Hill brought home two “Superior” ratings (Orchestra and Choir) and one “Excellent” rating (Jazz Ensemble).
An added bonus to the day was that while the other schools were competing, Hill students had the opportunity to spend time in Hershey Park enjoying the rides and Chocolate World.