Weather Forecast


Beat accelerates for Farmington bands

Farmington High School Band in Pearl Harbor. Submitted photo

The music suite at Farmington High School has been anything but quiet lately. In the past several weeks, the Farmington bands have hosted a series of major events that have showcased not only the talents of Farmington students, but students from throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.

"We returned from our weeklong band tour to Hawaii and just hit the ground running," Associate Director of Bands Bradley Mariska. said "Taking 115 band students to a destination that is 4,000 miles away is not small task, but it was definitely worth it."

While in Oahu, the students performed at Pearl Harbor and took part in an educational clinic at the University of Hawaii.

Since returning, the bands have hosted three major festivals: the second annual Middle School Band Festival, the Solo/Ensemble Band Contest and the South Suburban Jazz Band Festival.

"We are very fortunate to have beautiful facilities here at FHS, so it just seems natural to host large events that other schools simply cannot," Director of Bands Erin Holmes said. "The Middle School Festival on April 12 was a great way to motivate not only middle school students from Dodge and Boeckman, but many other schools as well."

A total of 13 middle school bands came to FHS' second annual festival. Students attending the festival worked with clinicians James Patrick Miller or Gustavus Adolphus College and Betsy McCann of the University of Minnesota.

Students from nine of the 10 South Suburban Conference attended a daylong jazz festival, hosted by FHS on April 17. Not only were there top-notch performances from the premiere jazz ensembles at each of these schools, but six professional jazz musicians performed a one-hour concert. According to Holmes, "it's important that these festivals are not seen so much as competitions, but as educational experiences from which every student can benefit."

Another event was Solo/Ensemble Contest on April 9. More than 90 solos, duets, and trios were performed by FHS Band students, who were adjudicated by five area music educators on a variety of components including tone, articulation, rhythm, expression and balance/blend.

Several students received Best in Site Awards including Ryland Cook (trombone solo), Aaron Mozey (clarinet solo), Ben Moorlach (trombone solo), Ethan Chen (marimba solo), and Ally Auger and Cassidy Draeger (flute duet).

The spring concerts for the FHS bands will be Monday, May 21, for concert bands and Monday, June 4, jazz ensembles. For more information, visit or search for "Farmington High School Band" on Facebook.