Weekend update: Concert bands at Krannert
The state's best middle and high school concert bands are performing today at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts as part of the 2014 Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival. Today's lineup culminates with a performance by the University of Illinois Wind Symphony. All of the concerts in the Foellinger Great Hall are free and open to the public.
1 Linda Moorhouse, interim director of UI bands, said more than 80 concert bands submitted recordings electronically for SuperState. The UI Band Division, which sponsors the event, renames each recording so the three out-of-state evaluators don't know what band they are listening to. The judges comment and rank the bands and send their ratings to the UI band office.
2 "We do a tally, an overall ranking, and that's how the groups are invited to SuperState," Moorhouse said. This year 38 groups were scheduled to perform Friday and today. There's no official judging during SuperState. "In other festivals around the country bands might receive a numerical rating or superior, excellent or good rating," Moorhouse said. "Here no ratings are given, but we have three performance evaluators and one conductor evaluator."
3 Those evaluators give the bands and conductors "helpful hints," Moorhouse said. And within each school-size classification the evaluators select a group they feel are above and beyond the others. "We call that group an honor band. If a band is chosen as an honor band, it's automatically invited back," Moorhouse said. Honor bands that performed this weekend are from McCracken Middle School as well as Marian Catholic, Vernon Hills and Libertyville high schools.
4 At SuperState each band has 30 minutes on stage to set up, play, tear down and have their photo taken. Audience members cannot enter the Great Hall while a band is playing. Today's lineup is all high school concert bands, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The 2013 honor band from Vernon Hills performs at 11:45 a.m., Libertyville at 2:45 p.m. The UI Wind Symphony, directed by Moorhouse, will perform at 7:45 p.m.