Jul 26, 2014
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DeMatha Music Program Sweeps Competition

All of DeMatha's music ensembles win first place recognition at Virginia Beach Music Festival except for one, which came in second place to another DeMatha music ensemble.

DeMatha Music Program Sweeps Competition

bands and choruses returned triumphant from the Virginia Beach Music Festival, held last weekend. 

In what has become almost routine for the music program, every single DeMatha ensemble which participated in the competition came away with first place awards in their divisions. The only group which didn't claim first place was Percussion Ensemble II, which came in second in the Percession Ensemble Open Division, losing first place to DeMatha's Advanced Percussion Ensemble. 

In all, the school was competing against 38 different performing groups split between seven different schools from Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Georgia. 

"The kids have stepped up, and as usual, lived up to the tradition of the excellence of our program," said first-year DeMatha Music Program Director Jim Roper. 

Roper has taken the reigns at the program following last year's departure of longtime DeMatha bands leader John Mitchell, who built the program to national prominence during his tenure. 

"Anything we could have won, we won," beamed Roper.

Mark Murnane, a senior first-chair euphonium player in DeMatha's Wind Ensemble, said that the annual spring band trip is the highlight of the year for the band program.

"We get lots of great comments from judges, we get to find out just how we sound as a band on stage," said Murnane. "Preparing for the trip is probably the most work we do throughout the year. 

Murnane also praised Roper's leadership during this transitional year. 

"I couldn't imagine a better person to stand up and take Mr. Mitchell's shoes," said Murnane. "It's certainly a big role to fill."

DeMatha's Wind Ensemble takes the act to the local stage with their spring concert on Thursday, May 10 at Northwestern High School Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. 

Full list of DeMatha's winnings from the weekend are below: 

Concert Band II – Superior rating;1st place Division II

Concert Band – Superior rating; 1st place Division III

Symphonic Band – Superior rating; 1st place Division IV

Instrumental Grand Champion with Wind Ensemble

Wind Ensemble – Superior rating; 1st place Division VI

Concert Band Champion

Instrumental Grand Champion with Symphonic Band

Sinfonia – Superior rating; 1st place Division V; Orchestra Champion

Percussion Ensemble II – Superior rating; 2nd place Percussion Ensemble Open Division

Advanced Percussion Ensemble – Superior rating; 1st place Percussion Ensemble Open Division

DeMatha Harmonics – Superior rating; 1st Place Division III Men’s Chorus

Men's Chorus Champions

Choral Grand Champion with Voices of DeMatha

Voices of DeMatha – Superior rating; 1st Place Division III Chamber/Madrigal

Chamber/Madrigal Champion

Choral Grand Champion with DeMatha Harmonics

Individual Honors:

Kyle Carruthers, Clarinet – Outstanding Accompanist - DeMatha Harmonics; Outstanding soloist – Wind Ensemble

Chad Lilley, Alto Saxophone – Outstanding soloist

Michael Sprunk, Piccolo and Flute – Outstanding soloist

Matthew Fitzsimmons , Trumpet – Outstanding soloist

Zachary Dowell, Trumpet – Outstanding soloist

Nick Spears, Trumpet - Outstanding soloist

Karanja Sekou, Clarinet - Outstanding Soloist

Wind Ensemble Low Brass – Outstanding section

Wind Ensemble Percussion – Outstanding section

Sinfonia Basses – Outstanding section

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