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Principia School
Middle School Band Earns Top Marks

The Principia Middle School Band earned unanimous, exemplary ratings from all three judges at the April 8 Marshfield Virtual Band Festival. The Principia Middle School Band was one of only four middle school bands out of 13 from throughout Missouri to receive the top mark.

“This is a testament to the students truly buying in and executing to the best of their ability despite the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Head Band Director Johnathan Daniels says.

The band performed three movements of “Midnight Suite” by composer Brian Balmages. Written for his son Jacob, each movement reflects part of the early experience of having a child: “Midnight Mission” (thinking about having a child), “Midnight Sky” (during pregnancy), and “Midnight Madness” (when a baby’s energy fills the house).

The judges were particularly pleased with the band’s musicality and focus. “Wonderful musicality! Especially at this grade level,” the judges wrote. “There are clearly a lot of great things happening in your band room, even during a difficult school year, so keep playing and working hard to become even better musicians.”

While some band directors are hesitant to share the results of middle school competitions since middle schoolers are still growing and learning, Daniels had no reservations about sharing the results from this group. “We happen to have some great students who are ready to get out and share, without inhibition, where they are on their musical journey,” Daniels says. “They are reaping the benefits of their hard work!”

Principia Percussion Earn Medals

In a separate event, the Principia Upper School Percussion Ensemble earned a “Silver” (or Excellent) medal at the Missouri State High School Activities Association’s Solo and Ensemble Contest. This annual contest features solos and ensembles from across the state. The students produced a virtual recording of “Black Racer” by Brian Blume, a percussionist, educator, and member of the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own.”


  • Middle School