BG High welcomes area bands for adjudicated event this weekend

About 1,800 musicians from around Northwest Ohio will gather Friday and Saturday at Bowling Green High School to test their mettle in the Ohio Music Education Association’s band contest.
So in addition to making sure they’re all tuned up and ready to perform their best, band director Bruce Corrigan, colleague Jeremy Sison and their charges as well as their parents, will also be on duty playing host to their counterparts from 34 bands in a six county area.
BGHS band trumpetsIt’s a big job, Corrigan said. Each band has to have a home room assigned. And then six spaces have to be set up to accommodate full bands – two rooms for warm up, two rooms for sight reading, and two spaces for performance. All those spaces must be fitted out with music stands, percussion instruments, and chairs. The high school borrowed music stands and percussion equipment from the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts, which is conveniently on break this week. Corrigan said other area band directors offered to help, but he said he didn’t want to inconvenience them when they were preparing for the event.
The host band, Corrigan said, is responsible for handling all the paperwork involving the bands and adjudicators. Arrangements for hotel rooms for those judges must also be made.
And then there’s all that traffic to direct.
All this and more takes an army of volunteers, both adults and students. It’s been about 25 years, he said, since Bowling Green has hosted the Large Ensemble Adjudicated Event. For most of that time, Sylvania Southview has been the host.
Corrigan said the school’s new Performing Arts Center prompted his decision to open Bowling Green’s doors up to the bands. “We have this wonderful facility, this beautiful performing arts stage. … It screamed, ‘let’s host this!’”
He noted that the acoustical design for the Performing Arts Center was done by the company that did the work on Carnegie Hall. The event will get underway on that stage Friday at 4:30 p.m. when the Concert Band, conducted by Sison, will perform.
The second performance stage will be set up in the high school gym. The Rossford band will open up that stage at 4:30 p.m.
Friday performances go late into the night with the final bands taking the stage after 10 p.m.
Corrigan will conduct the BG Symphonic Band on the PAC stage at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
Performances continue through noon on Saturday. Based on the difficulty of music, bands are ranked from Class AA, most difficult, to Class D, the least. BG’s Symphonic Band is Class A, while the Concert Band is C. Those receiving a superior rating have the option of going on to the state event, but the timing often precludes BG and other bands from participating.
Each band also does a sight reading session where they play music they’ve never seen before. Those sessions will be held in the high school and junior high school band rooms.
The event is important to band directors and students alike, Corrigan said. “It is our assessment. It evaluates our performance skills, and it evaluates our sight reading skills. Both are very important. … The bottomline is it makes me step up my teaching, and the students step up to play at a higher level of musicianship. It keeps us in line.”
Hearing other bands, he said, is important both for educators and students. “We should be sharing with other bands more than we are.”
He added, “I like to hear other bands partly because I‘m always looking for new music, things I’d be interested in doing in the near future.”