The orchestra earned an "I" rating at the state music festival Wednesday, March 23, according to Director Kevin Lines.
That's good, but that's not all.
"This year's orchestra performance marked a very special milestone for the MHS program," said Lines. "This year is the 10th consecutive year the MHS Orchestra has earned a "I" superior rating. I am so very proud of not only my current students but also, all the students who over the years have worked to achieve this string of successes. Their accomplishment is a rarity at the state music contest."
The festival was held in Thespian Hall at Boonville.
State large ensemble competition is the culmination of the year's work for all instrumental and vocal performing large ensembles, Lines said.
The MHS Orchestra performed three prepared selections for a panel of three judges: "Sonata No. 3, 2nd Movement" by George Frideric Handel, "Elegy" by M. L. Daniels and the final movement of Arthur Frackenpohl's "Star Lake Suite."
At the completion of their prepared selections, the orchestra moved to a second performing site where they completed the "sight reading" portion.
In this closed venue, they were given music that was composed specifically to judge the musicians' ability to read music at first sight.
In this highly structured setting, they were given an envelope of music and then given exactly six minutes to discuss all aspects of the music. During this time, they were not allowed to produce any sounds with their instruments, according to Lines.
At the completion of the six minutes, performed the music for a fourth judge who evaluated all aspects of their performance.
The judging criteria included such aspects as correct notes, correct rhythms, proper balance and blend and matching articulations.
"Even the selection of the judging panel is highly defined," Lines said.
A judge must have at least 10 years of teaching experience before they can be considered to judge. Judging candidates must go through a five-hour training session every five years that covers rules and regulations and strives to define a unified approach to the evaluative festival. This year's panel represented over 100 years of combined public school teaching experience.