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NKHS Bands Sweep Competition in NYC

North Kingstown High School's bands won big in the Big Apple this past weekend.

The symphonic and senior jazz bands won big this weekend in the Big Apple. The two bands competed in the WorldStrides Heritage Performance Festival against 21 other instrumental groups from 13 different states.

Not only did they win: they swept the competition winning a total of eight awards, walking away with an award in each category they were eligible to compete in. Among the wins were the festival’s “gold” placement awards for best symphonic band and best senior jazz band. Though NKHS has competed in the festival before and earned gold and silver awards, it was the first time the bands won the top honors.

“I was hoping to get a gold placement, which is a grade of 90 and above,” said North Kingstown High School Band Director Toni Silveira of her expectations going into the competition. “I would’ve been thrilled with a 90 or above to just get the gold. I had no idea we would get the highest score.”

The symphonic band scored a whopping 98 out of 100 possible points while the jazz band nabbed a score of 97. The festival is judged by a group of professional conductors, composers and college professors.

North Kingstown High School also took home five other awards, including best overall band and the Adjudicator’s Choice Award. Individual honors were given to Paul Spetrini for his jazz trumpet solo and Andrew Nicastro for his jazz and symphonic alto saxophone solos.

“It was surreal,” said Silveira. “I was shaking.”

The 71 students spent the weekend in New York City for the festival. According to Silveira, the bands have been practicing relentlessly since returning from winter break in January.

According to Silveira, the festival’s adjudicator asked about the state of the music program after congratulating the bands.

“I told him that we were possibly still on the chopping block and he was shocked that that could be true,” said Silveira, who hopes that the town and school departments’ budget woes won’t threaten the viability of the high school’s music programs.

“We definitely have the support of our administration and school, which I really appreciate,” said Silveira. “I hope the town council supports the budget so none of these programs disappear.”

Mike April 04, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Congratulations to Mrs. Silveira and all her students and to the band directors who have fed young musicians into her program. Outstanding job! It is excellent news and it is wonderful to have another positive thing to "hang our hat on" and be proud of our town.
Lauren Bush April 04, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Congratulations to the NKHS musicians and Mrs. Silveira! As an alum of the NK band programs, I know how much goes into the rehearsals and performances and how much time and dedication it takes from everyone involved!! Way to go NK!!
Tony Cirillo April 05, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Congrats to Mrs. Silveira and all students who worked so hard to create a memorable performance! Thanks also to Mr. I for his work at WMS and all the other teachers who chaperoned and support the music program.
Alicarn April 05, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Congratulations! Quite an achievement! Should be a LOT harder to cancel the music program in NK now!

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