Kingwood band earns top award at Festival Disney
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – Continuing a school tradition, the Kingwood Christian School band earned some serious hardware while helping to spread cheer for children facing terminal illness recently during its trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
In early March, the band traveled to Disney World to perform in the Festival Disney band competition, where band members performed “Dorchester March” by Eric Osterling, “The Emerald Isle” by Dave Black and “Fire Dance” by David Shaffer at the Disney World Contemporary Resort Ballroom of the Americas.
“Our Concert Band is sixth-through-12th-graders. We have 23 band members,” KCS band director Tyra Kutcher wrote in an email. “Our enrollment at KCS in sixth-through-12th grades is 194; therefore, we are placed in Class A. All classes combined, eight concert/symphonic/wind ensemble bands from across the nation performed.”
KCS was one of the smallest bands at the festival, as Class A includes schools with enrollments of up to 600 students in grades nine through 12. Class AA includes schools with enrollments of 601-1,200, Class AAA includes schools with enrollments of 1,201-1,600 and Class AAAA includes schools with enrollments of more than 1,601.
In addition to earning a superior rating for its performance, the KCS band also earned the Best in Class award for the Class A concert band division, and earned the Bronze Mickey award for recording the third-highest score out of all bands represented in all classifications at the festival.
KCS earned a 90.7 score, second-place Miami Arts Studio from Zelda Glazer High School earned a 91 and first-place Dawson High School earned a 93.7. Both schools had much higher enrollments than KCS.
The judges for the festival were University of Notre Dame Director of Bands and Professor of Music Dr. Kenneth Dye, Ball State University Director of Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra Douglas Droste and Florida State University Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting Dr. Alexander Jimenez.
“Our Concert Band has achieved high recognition from Festival Disney! We are extremely proud of them and give God glory for this accomplishment!” Kutcher wrote. “KCS Concert Band has performed at Festival Disney for seven years. By God’s blessings, we received in the past the following awards: Four Excellent Ratings, two Superior Ratings, three Best In Class A, and one Gold Mickey plus this year’s 2018 Festival Disney Awards that are stated above.”
The KCS band also traveled to Kissimmee, Florida, during their trip to perform a Christmas concert for children and their families at Give Kids the World Village. Each Thursday, Give Kids the World celebrates Christmas for families of children who have terminal illnesses through the village’s “vacation week” program.
“We are blessed to share God’s love and hope with these families during a difficult time in their lives,” Kutcher wrote.