Arts and Entertainment

Honors for Haller Middle School bands

The seventh-grade band at Haller Middle School won second place at the Music in the Parks Festival in  Tacoma on June 6. - Courtesy photo
The seventh-grade band at Haller Middle School won second place at the Music in the Parks Festival in Tacoma on June 6.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Haller Middle School seventh-grade band won its first trophy recently. It won second place at the Music in the Parks Festival, performing for judges at the historic Stadium High School in Tacoma June 6.

The awards were presented at Wild Waves theme park.

The seventh-graders earned a formal rating of the highest degree, “superior” on the judging rubric in the band rating system.

The HMS eighth-grade band also did well this spring, scoring two “two-plus” scores and a “one-minus” in the Mount Pilchuck Music Educators Association Festival, where ratings are from 1 to 5.

“They were among the highest,” said band director Joe Horzak.

The eighth-grade band also had the honor of performing in the rotunda of the state capitol during their band tour in April. After the performance, the students toured the capitol and met the 39th legislative district representatives Kirk Pearson and Dan Kristiansen.

“It was fun to hear them,” Kristiansen said. His face absolutely glowed while recalling the places his trumpet took him, Horzak said.

During their tour, the eighth-graders also performed at Washington Middle School in Olympia and enjoyed a clinic with its band director, Greg Allison.

The bands trips were paid for through the school’s fundraising efforts.

“Not every family has the same resources, but thanks to the fundraising, all the students have equal opportunities to perform,” Horzak said.

They hope to acquire a tuba from the balance of this year’s fund.

With assistance from the school’s Parent Teacher Student Association, they sold flower bulbs last September to raise money for the band program, Horzak said.

“The bulb sale has been critical in helping us acquire instruments that are simply too expensive or unavailable to rent,” Horzak said.

“The larger instruments such as tubas and bass clarinets are very important for a band to achieve a full and balanced tone. We appreciate the community’s support.”

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