MHS Concert Band receives one of highest honors at Tumon Bay Music Festival

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THE Marianas High School Concert Band has been selected as one of the command performance groups — one of the highest honors of the Tumon Bay Music Festival, which started on Feb. 27 and will end on March 7.

The MHS Concert Band will perform at the finale concert on Saturday at the Micronesia Mall, Center Court.

The group also won gold in the bands and orchestras category.

There were 11 bands competing in the category, said MHS Concert Band director and mentor Atsuko Eck. “They were the only group in this category invited to the command performance,” she added referring to the MHS students.

The MHS Concert Band is composed of 26 students. They have returned to Saipan after competing in Tumon, Guam on March 2.

 MHS vice principal Melanie Sablan said they were "working on" the band's trip to Guam for the finale concert on Saturday.

The Marianas High School Concert Band won gold and was named one of the command performance groups — one of the highest honors at the Tumon Bay Music Festival. In photo are band director Atsuko Eck, center, foreground, and adjudicator Atsushi Yamashita, third left, with the band members.  Contributed photo

Eck said this was the first time that the band was invited to a command performance, but its third time to win gold.

Last year, the band won gold in Band & Orchestra, and Jazz Rock & Beyond categories.

This year, Eck, who is also the Saipan Pacific Winds Band director, worked with the MHS students a month before the competition.

“They worked hard to make this trip happen and practiced hard, especially after I took over the band,” she added.

Their goal was to win gold, she said. “But having another chance to perform [on Saturday] is totally unexpected. We are very honored and I’m very proud of them,” Eck added.

The MHS Glee Club Rhythm ‘N Harmony, for its part, received gold in the Choral & Hand Bell Festival category while Hopwood Middle School’s HDMP’s T-Woah won gold in the Jazz, Rock & Beyond category.

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