Junior High School Music Festival

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - It was a musical delight at Cal State Bakersfield - the Junior High/Middle School Band and Orchestra Standards Festival.

Children from the Bakersfield City School District performed in front of peers and judges to grow as students and as musicians.

Orchestras, bands, and music filled Dore Theater at Cal State Bakersfield Thursday with middle school students performing pieces as part of the Junior High/Middle School Band and Orchestra Standards Festival. The young musicians performed in front of other students and judges to improve their skills. After performing, groups met with judges who provided clinics on how to make their performances better.

"Sometimes students hear something from their own teacher and it goes in one ear and out the other," School District Coordinator Michael Stone said. "That's not the case when you hear it from someone else saying the same thing your teacher says. So it's really reinforcing the good teaching going on in the district."

This is the eleventh year of this festival. According to Stone, participation has more than doubled in that time.

Music is important to me because it's like a kind of a freedom for me because you get to go to your own little world and you get to hear your own moods," bass player Christina Nevarez said. "And your attitude goes through like the music itself."

Not only are the kids enjoying it, the parents value the skills it helps hone.

"It just gets them creative," Christina's mom, Ashley Nevarez said. "I mean, they love coming in, playing different music. They love how it sounds."

Eighteen bands representing nine different middle schools were at the festival. Judges traveled from as far as Ontario to assess the children's performance.

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