Fourteen R-MA Bandsmen and five members of the R-MA Chorus traveled to Norwich University in Northfield Vermont on February 24-26 for the 41st Military School Band and Choir Festival.
The three day festival, sponsored by the Military School Band Association, featured a concert band composed of military high school and college cadets under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Philip C. Chevallard, USAF, ret., former Commander and Conductor of the U.S. Air Force Academy Band. There was also a cadet choir directed by CW4 Kathleen Landas, USA, who is 99th Regional Support Command (RSC) Staff Bands Officer. Senior Chief Musician Michael P. Bayes, Drum Major of the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC conducted a clinic for military high school and college drum majors.
The R-MA Bandsmen earned several prestigious gold and silver medals at the Festival.
Jacob Karen ’19, from Winchester, VA, who was awarded a silver medal for being selected as first chair clarinet in the Festival Concert Band, was selected by its director, Lt Col Chevallard as the Outstanding Festival Band Musician and was awarded a gold medal.
Ryan Latham ’18, from Amissville, VA was awarded the gold medal for Outstanding Drum Major after winning the Drum Major Competition at the Festival.
Yuyang Wang ’19, from Shanghai, China earned a silver medal for being selected as first chair trumpet in the Festival Concert Band.
Other R-MA Cadets who participated in the Festival Concert Band included: Connor Gamma ’20 of Darnestown, MD on flute and piccolo; TaJour Gadson ’18 of Norfolk, VA and Kathleen Fedzer ’18 of Falls Church, VA on clarinet; Tradarius Gadson ’18 of Norfolk, VA and Jack Song ’20 of Shenzhen, China on alto saxophone; Omar Bran ’17 of Markham VA on tenor saxophone; Parker Overstreet ’17 of Luray, VA on trombone; and Ben Schoonover ’17 of Winchester, VA and Hong Li Liu ’19 of Shanghai, China on percussion. Noelle Kramer ’19 of Richmond, VA and Jacob Gehly ’20 of Front Royal also participated in the drum major clinic.
Chorus members who participated in the Festival Choir included: Wenxi Cai ’20 of Chengdu, China, Zhirui Chen ’20 of Beijing, China, Jiatong Han ’20 of Huai’an, China, Citlaly Sosa ’20 of Baltimore, MD and Fengze Yang ’18 of Wuhan, China.
The Military School Band and Choir Festival is a highlight of the year for the musicians from R-MA. It is an opportunity to perform with a high quality band and choir composed entirely of the best musicians from military academies and colleges from across the nation.