A Survey of New York State Schools’ Participation in NYSSMA Band Festival to Determine Correlation between Repertoire and Increased Score Rating & Evaluate Commonly Performed Works for Artistic and Educational Value

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Libby, Nathaniel
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Houghton University
Wind bands in New York public schools have the opportunity to be evaluated by a panel of judges regarding their performance according to the standards of the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) annual band festivals. This study aimed to garner NYSSMA band festival score ratings and works performed from a select variety of New York public schools to determine if there was any correlation between work performed and ensemble growth as shown by score rating improvement. Of the thirty-three schools that responded to the survey, only eighteen had attended a NYSSMA band festival over the past five years. A correlation test for the eighteen schools’ data for the past five years (2013-2017) found a .41 correlation between NYSSMA levels and score ratings, however the sample size is too small to be statistically significant. This study also evaluated the six most commonly performed works reported for their artistic and educational merit according to Acton Ostling Jr.’s study Specific Criteria for Serious Artistic Merit and considerations for educational merit from Lynn G. Cooper’s Teaching Band & Orchestra: methods and materials. The six most common works performed were Malcolm Arnold’s Prelude, Siciliano & Rondo, Sousa’s The Liberty Bell, Brian Balmages’ Elements, Robert W. Smith’s The Great Locomotive Chase, James Swearingen’s Novena, Rhapsody for Band, and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Flourish for Wind Band. These works were found to have some artistic value and significant educational value.
Bands (Music) , School music
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