DeMatha Catholic High School's bands and choruses returned triumphant from the Virginia Beach Music Festival, held last weekend.
In what has become almost routine for the music program, every single DeMatha ensemble which participated in the competition came away with first place awards in their divisions. The only group which didn't claim first place was Percussion Ensemble II, which came in second in the Percession Ensemble Open Division, losing first place to DeMatha's Advanced Percussion Ensemble.
In all, the school was competing against 38 different performing groups split between seven different schools from Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Georgia.
"The kids have stepped up, and as usual, lived up to the tradition of the excellence of our program," said first-year DeMatha Music Program Director Jim Roper.
Roper has taken the reigns at the program following last year's departure of longtime DeMatha bands leader John Mitchell, who built the program to national prominence during his tenure.
"Anything we could have won, we won," beamed Roper.
Mark Murnane, a senior first-chair euphonium player in DeMatha's Wind Ensemble, said that the annual spring band trip is the highlight of the year for the band program.
"We get lots of great comments from judges, we get to find out just how we sound as a band on stage," said Murnane. "Preparing for the trip is probably the most work we do throughout the year.
Murnane also praised Roper's leadership during this transitional year.
"I couldn't imagine a better person to stand up and take Mr. Mitchell's shoes," said Murnane. "It's certainly a big role to fill."
DeMatha's Wind Ensemble takes the act to the local stage with their spring concert on Thursday, May 10 at Northwestern High School Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
Full list of DeMatha's winnings from the weekend are below:
Concert Band II – Superior rating;1st place Division II
Concert Band – Superior rating; 1st place Division III
Symphonic Band – Superior rating; 1st place Division IV
Instrumental Grand Champion with Wind Ensemble
Wind Ensemble – Superior rating; 1st place Division VI
Concert Band Champion
Instrumental Grand Champion with Symphonic Band
Sinfonia – Superior rating; 1st place Division V; Orchestra Champion
Percussion Ensemble II – Superior rating; 2nd place Percussion Ensemble Open Division
Advanced Percussion Ensemble – Superior rating; 1st place Percussion Ensemble Open Division
DeMatha Harmonics – Superior rating; 1st Place Division III Men’s Chorus
Men's Chorus Champions
Choral Grand Champion with Voices of DeMatha
Voices of DeMatha – Superior rating; 1st Place Division III Chamber/Madrigal
Choral Grand Champion with DeMatha Harmonics
Kyle Carruthers, Clarinet – Outstanding Accompanist - DeMatha Harmonics; Outstanding soloist – Wind Ensemble
Chad Lilley, Alto Saxophone – Outstanding soloist
Michael Sprunk, Piccolo and Flute – Outstanding soloist
Matthew Fitzsimmons , Trumpet – Outstanding soloist
Zachary Dowell, Trumpet – Outstanding soloist
Nick Spears, Trumpet - Outstanding soloist
Karanja Sekou, Clarinet - Outstanding Soloist
Wind Ensemble Low Brass – Outstanding section
Wind Ensemble Percussion – Outstanding section
Sinfonia Basses – Outstanding section