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Cortez Middle School bands earn high marks in Farmington

The Cortez Middle School’s eighth-grade band, directed by Katie Zdanowski, performs at San Juan College in Farmington on March 8 as part of the Northwest New Mexico Music Educators Association Large Group Evaluation. The band received a “superior” rating, the top distinction, from a panel of judges.

The Cortez Middle School seventh- and eighth-grade bands both received “superior” ratings March 8 at San Juan College in Farmington.

It’s been at least a decade since both bands received that top distinction at the Northwest New Mexico Music Educators Association Large Group Evaluation, said CMS band director Andrew Campo.

“The kids really played amazingly well,” Campo said. “They had their game faces on.”

Each band played three pieces, and a panel of three esteemed judges scrutinized the performances, Campo said. The bands also participated in a sight-reading component, in which they were asked to play a piece of music they had never seen before with just a few minutes of preparation, Campo said. San Juan College Director of Bands Dr. Teun B. Fetz judged that aspect of the evaluation, Campo said

On a scale of 100, the two bands averaged a score of 97, he said.

Both bands, along with first-year director Katie Zdanowski, worked very hard to achieve the result, Campo said.

“This is a group of very hard-working, dedicated, focused kids,” Campo said. “They put together all their hard work from the last eight weeks and pulled it off. They did a really great job. This is a special group of kids.”

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