Baker Prairie musicians win at Seattle festival
Earlier this month, approximately 135 students from Baker Prairie Middle School's 8th grade band, jazz band and 7th/8th grade Eagle Choir went to Seattle to compete in a Music in the Parks festival. When it came time for the awards ceremony, Baker Prairie students heard their school name announced often.
"I am very proud of all of our student musicians," said Band Director Jordan Paulus. "They were certainly excited when the results were announced at the awards ceremony."
According to Paulus, the band emerged victorious in a category of nine bands in the 1A division for schools with a population of 750 or less.
"We were pleasantly surprised, especially considering the fact that we start band in 7th grade whereas almost all other districts start in 5th or 6th grade," Paulus said, "and one more year of playing experience certainly gives everybody else a significant head start. Our 8th grade band this year is simply full of amazing young musicians and people."
Here's the full list of awards Baker Prairie musicians won.
Concert Band: 1st place, excellent rating, Overall Band Award
Zac Woodruff: Outstanding Jazz Soloist
Eagle Choir: 3rd place, Superior rating
Boys Choir: 1st place, Superior rating
Treble Choir: 1st place, Superior rating
"Their hard work has paid off," Paulus said, "but at the same time I know this group won't just settle. They will continue to work hard and continuously improve for years to come. They've created a legacy of excellence for the BPMS music program. Upward and onward."
Canby's middle school music students have been attending the festival for 25 years or more, according to Paulus, and plan to attend the same competition next year.
With momentum from the competition, Paulus looks forward to next year when about 140 students will join the band as 7th-graders. That amounts to nearly half of incoming students expected to join, and Paulus wants to make sure they all have instruments.
"Every student should have the opportunity to join and be a part of something great if that's what they desire," Paulus said.