The Black River Local School District recently hosted its annual end-of-year band showcase on May 15. The concert, referred to as Festival of Bands, is a culmination of the entire school year’s learning and growth and features all of the district’s curricular bands. This was the district’s fourth festival.
The event was hosted on Black River’s campus, with this year’s performance taking place in the high school gymnasium. Included in the festival was the middle school sixth-grade band, middle school Symphonic Band, high school Jazz Band and high school Concert Band.
"I don't quite know how to truly describe how incredible this year has been, other than simply saying that it has been nothing short of amazing,” said Black River Director of Bands Liam Sleggs. “Through all of the challenges we faced this year, the kids somehow found a way to lift themselves and achieve musical excellence.”
The Black River Local School District did in fact have a season filled with success, with their most notable achievements occurring in the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) Adjudicated Events. In October, the Pirate Marching Band earned its first ever rating of “superior” and qualified for OMEA State Marching Band Finals - the first time in school history. The high school Concert Band also earned a superior rating in March, with the middle school Symphonic Band following their high school counterparts with the same rating in May. Every band in the Black River Local School District had earned a superior rating; a district first and proud achievement as just four years ago none of the bands had gone to any adjudicated events at all.
The Black River Middle and High School bands also sent 37 students to OMEA Solo & Ensemble and received 31 individual superior ratings and six excellent ratings.
“The students are truly inspiring, and I can't wait to see what we can accomplish in the future,” said Sleggs.” I feel truly lucky that I get to make music with these wonderful kids every single day, and I can’t thank them enough for a wonderful school year and a great Festival of Bands.”