The Thompson Middle School 7th & 8th grade band performed at Palmer High School in Palmer, MA on Friday, May 19th as part of the Great East Music Festivals. The GEMF is the premier educational music festival series in New England and was established by music educators for music educators. The goal of the festival is to provide a formative evaluation to all of the ensembles that attend and offer feedback to improve the group and build on their strengths.
This was the first time that the band has attended under the direction of Mr. Justin Leclerc. The GEMF is a non-competitive event that allows each director to select their own program. The TMS 7th & 8th grade band performed March from the First Suite for Military Bands by Gustav Holst (arr. Michael Story), Serenade composed by Robert Sheldon, and concluded with Sean O’Loughlin’s exciting piece Pulse Pounding.
The band received a silver rating as well as many positive comments regarding the students’ playing. After the performance the group received a clinic from acclaimed music educator Paul Alberta, a retired music teacher who taught in the Norwood, MA public school system for thirty-nine years and retired as the Director of Fine Arts. Mr. Alberta provided helpful feedback to our musicians and rehearsed some of the music with them.
Following the clinic, the students enjoyed a wonderful day at Six Flags amusement park where they celebrated their achievements along with all of the other middle and high school musicians that attended the GEMF. The TMS band students even convinced Mr. Leclerc to go on the Goliath and Buzzsaw rides!
Mr. Leclerc is incredibly proud of all the students for their hard work and dedication to one another. The day was filled with a great sense of camaraderie as well. Mr. Leclerc would also like to thank all of the parent chaperones that attended the trip and helped make the day a success!
Thompson Middle School
Band and Choral Director
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