The Massachusetts Instrumental & Choral Conductors’ Association (MICCA) is an organization that host events where choirs, orchestras and bands get to perform in front of judges, who give out awards and critiques. Groups do not compete against each other; instead, individual groups strive to earn either a gold, silver, or bronze medal based on their overall score.
The Walpole High School band, choir and orchestra attended this event on April 1, and each received an award— the first awards with Kenneth Gable and Ashley Prickel as their teachers and conductors. Despite winning these awards, Gable stresses that attending the MICCA festival is about more than just the prizes themselves. “It is not the award that is significant or even important. As I have told the students, what matters is that the groups perform to the best of their ability, continue to strive to improve and develop a passion and understanding for quality literature and quality performances,” said Gable.
The Concert Band received a silver medal, as did the Concert Chorus. The String Orchestra received a bronze medal. There are nine categories that groups are judged on: tone quality, balance and blend, intonation, expression and style and phrasing, dynamics, rhythm and precision and tempo, articulation bowing or diction, technical facility, repertoire. The ensembles showed proficiency in these categories and earned their awards, as well they will face is to be determined. The girls are looking forward to not only the commencement of their season, but the start of a new team. “I am very excited for this season and hope we can improve as individuals and as a team. Also, I hope that this team can grow in the future and ultimately become a varsity team,” said O’Sullivan. Photo/Maeve O’Connor Photo/ Alison Giffin as receiving constructive criticisms.
“It was the first year we actually competed for an award in MICCA, instead of just participating, so it was really cool for all of our groups to win an award in our first year,” says senior Haley DiMartino. Students were ecstatic to receive their awards, and Gable also expressed how proud he was of all the performers.
“The students were provided with challenging, quality literature in all three performing ensembles. Based on their performances, they all met the challenge head on and demonstrated one of their best performances. Again, the emphasis is not the award that they won, but proving to themselves that they are capable of performing at a high level and that we all can continue to grow as musicians.”