Young musicians win top honors at music fest


The Jacksonville Country Day School Band won first-place in the Elementary Concert Band category and the title of Grand Champion and received the highest rating of “superior” at the Music USA Festival on April 9 at Universal Studios Orlando.

The band is composed of musicians in grades 3-6 learning brass, woodwind and percussion instruments; for many of these students it is their first exposure to ensemble performing. 

Music USA Festival is an event where students of all grade levels across the United States gather to showcase their musical talents; this competition is adjudicated by a group of highly qualified music-educators.

“The kids received a rave review from a panel of university music professors who could not believe the incredible maturity and talent far beyond their years,” said Chrystal Staples, JCDS band specialist. 

Music education is provided weekly during music specialist class time taught by Jessica Barker at Jacksonville Country Day School. The Pre-K 3 through 6th grade music program includes singing, speaking, movement, drama and instruments; guitars, drums, ukuleles and keyboards. Students in the band, an enrichment activity, meet up to five times a week in the mornings before school to practice with their ensembles in preparation for both competitions and performances.

 “I am so proud of our young instrumental musicians and am thrilled to be their conductor and teacher,” said Staples.


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