Two instrumental groups from the lower school, one of which included members from Gr. 6, won silver awards at the Heritage Music Festival. The event took place this past weekend at Foothill Community College.
Heritage festivals are held around the country for various skill levels. At this one, Harker entered non-high school-aged groups for the first time. Louis Hoffman, lower school music director, was pleased with the results. “They did so well,” he said.
Awards were given by three judges based on a standard rather than in competition with other groups, meaning each group had to meet certain expectations, Hoffman explained. Of the approximately 20 groups at the competition, Harker was the only one with elementary school students. The rest featured high schoolers, as well as one junior high group, which made the awards that much more difficult to earn.
About 25 students from Gr. 2-6 were in the jazz ensemble and about 27 from Gr. 2-5 were in the orchestra. Following their performances, a judge spoke to the groups, giving critiques and compliments in a sort of mini clinic, Hoffman said. Each student received a pin to commemorate the results and the school received two plaques to display on campus.
Hoffmann gave credit to Laura Lang-Ree, chair of the performing arts department, and to Chris Florio, upper school orchestra director, for their efforts in building the lower and middle school programs.
“The students’ behavior was so good,” said Hoffman. “They acted wonderfully. I was so proud of them.”