ECHS Band scores high at contest
Offers free concert tonight
The Elk City seventh, eighth and High School Bands competed March 4 at the OSSAA District Concert Contest held at the Elk City Pioneer Center.
The seventh-grade band directed by Andrew Hatch and Tim Dewitt received straight superior ratings from all three concert judges and a superior rating in sight-reading.
Judges for the contest were Jim Meiler from Norman, Mark Mueller director of bands at SWOSU, Fred Pankratz of Canadian, Texas and Ray Bell of Woodward.
The eighth-grade band directed by Tim Dewitt also received all superior ratings from the four judges.
With their superior ratings, both seventh- and eighth-grade bands won the OSSAA Outstanding Achievement Award.
This is the highest award for junior high bands in the state of Oklahoma.
The Elk City High School Band directed by Randy Brooks received superior rating from all four judges as well.
With their superior ratings, the Elk City band qualified for the OSSAA State Contest to be held in Ada at East Central State University on April 23.
This is the 34th consecutive yea
r for the band to qualify for state contest.
The Elk City streak is the longest in the state of Oklahoma for class’ 2A, 3A and 4A.
The Elk City Band is working toward a third consecutive sweepstakes and their 25th sweepstakes in the past 34 years.
To win sweepstakes a band must score superior ratings in marching, district concert, state concert and state sight-reading.
Along with hosting the district contest, the band department will be hosting the Shortgrass Honor Band clinic and concert tonight.
The Shortgrass Honor event is made up of three bands - a seventh grade band, combined eighth and ninth grade band and a high school band composed of sophomore, junior and senior students.
The clinic began Monday evening and concludes with a free concert at 6 p.m. tonight.
Choirs earn top ratings at contest
The Elk City Pioneer Center played host to the OSSAA District three choir contest last Wednesday.
Twenty-four junior high and high school groups from across the western part of Oklahoma traveled to Elk City to compete for ratings in the event.
According to ECHS co-director Justin Ediger, Elk City’s groups achieved high marks from all groups.
“We were very pleased with the outcome,” Ediger said. “Two of our middle school groups earned superior ratings in both concert and sight-reading and for the fourth consecutive year, the high school groups received straight superior ratings in both portions of the contest.”
With the superior marks at district, the high school choir program earned the right to compete at the state level competition to be held April 25 where they will be seeking their fourth straight sweepstakes award.
“My co-teacher, Lori Daubenspeck, and I couldn’t be more proud of how our kids competed,” said Ediger. “It is extremely gratifying to us that our program is now at a point where we are competing for the sweepstakes year in a year out. It’s an extremely difficult thing to achieve and we’ve been fortunate enough to earn three straight and now have a chance to bring home our fourth straight trophy.”
The sweepstakes designation is the highest honor high school groups can earn in music competition in Oklahoma.
Because the middle school had two groups receive superior ratings in both concert and sight-reading they were awarded the OSSAA’s Outstanding Achievement Award, which is the highest honor middle school groups can receive in competition.
“We’re really excited for our middle school kids as well,” said Ediger. “They were very poised and sang exceptionally well and we know full well that success breeds success and our success in high school starts when those kids are in middle school, learning our system.”
Ediger went on to say, “We have the best kids an instructor could ask for. They’re hard workers, talented and just generally great people. It makes our jobs very rewarding.”
All choirs will now begin preparations for their spring concert to be held May 8. The high school groups will continue to work on contest music as well as state contest approaches.