Festival of Winds
A Virtual Festival for Middle and High School Concert and Jazz Bands
The University of South Alabama Department of Music invites all Middle School and High School Bands and Jazz Ensembles to participate in the USA Virtual "Festival of Winds". Due to the many cancellations and budget cuts to music programs due to the pandemic, we would like to take this opportunity to offer something of value to you and your students this year. This event is totally FREE to you and your program and will provide invaluable feedback to you and your students as you prepare for your state's Performance Assessment. This event can also be a chance to submit your MPA recordings for a different set of "ears" and feedback to give you and your students a more comprehensive assessment experience.
The "Festival of Sound" is open to programs from Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. You will be able to upload audio or video of your ensemble's performance and a world-class adjudicator will give you feedback to help raise your program to the next level.
High School Adjudicators
Paul Popiel - Director of Bands, University of Kansas
Roy Holder, Lake Braddock High School Band (Retired)
Middle School Adjudicators
Beth Fabrizio - Hilton Central School District (Retired), DCI and WGI
June Holder, Fairfax County Public Schools, Lake Braddock High School (Retired)
Jazz Band Adjudicator
Arie VandeWaa - Director of Jazz Ensemble, University of South Alabama
Matthew Greenwood - Director of Percussion Studies, University of South Alabama
How to participate...
1. You must register your ensemble at the below link. (Multiple ensembles from each school will be accepted) There will be a limited number of registrations so that we can provide quality feedback to all programs.
2. After you and your ensemble are registered you will be asked to provide a link (Google Drive, YouTube, Dropbox, etc.) to your audio or video performance for assessment. Scores are not required, however they will help the judges in providing more specific commentary on your performance.
3. Adjudicators will review your performance and provide feedback for you and your ensemble between 7-10 days after the deadline of April 15, 2021.
You can utilize your state's guidelines and requirements for large ensemble performance assessment. (MBA, ABA, FBA) If your requirements have changed this year due to Covid, then utilize the guidelines for this year's performance assessment.
Do you need to send copies of scores?
No, this is not a requirement. However, in order for our adjudicators to give you and your students more specific feedback, we encourage sending a link to a shareable copy of the score.
How to make the best recording of your ensemble
Recordings don't have to be the highest of quality. Just make sure that the recording device is far enough back from the ensemble to get the full range of dynamics and instrumental timbres. Make sure that the audio doesn't peak out and distort. There are free programs such as Audacity that can help you edit your sound files and iMovie or Windows Live Movie Maker that can help edit your video files. You can also edit your video files right inside the YouTube uploader.
Tips on recording
1. You can either use microphones and equipment you already have or even use a smartphone! The newer smartphones usually come with built-in, stereo mics and will record at a decent quality. You may want to experiment with how far back you set your device from your ensemble.
2. You can also record with an HD or 4K video camera and submit a video recording of your performance instead of audio. There are several low-cost video cameras that will record in HD and 4K quality out there. Just make sure to experiment on how far back to set the camera up so that the audio isn't distorted at loud dynamics or unhearable at soft dynamics.
We look forward to listening to your recordings!