WHAT IS MPA?
Every March/April, high school band students across the state prepare for and perform in the North Carolina Music Performance Assessment (MPA), which is much like a performance EOC for band. During the assessment process, bands perform three prepared pieces and play one piece they have never seen before, a process called sight reading. Four judges, called adjudicators, evaluate the student musicians and the band director as they perform and sight read, then assign a score based on how accurately and musically the students and band director perform. The scores are then compiled and each band is assigned an overall rating of Superior, Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor. More importantly, the rating sheet from each adjudicator is filled with helpful comments and feedback that band directors use as a resource to guide students to greater musical achievement throughout the remainder of the year.
Bands in Gaston County are not required to attend MPA, but Forestview High School bands have been attending for the past several years. We choose to participate in MPA because we feel that it is important to hold ourselves to a high standard of performance. Attending MPA allows us to acquire valuable feedback from music professionals regarding our musical growth. We believe that preparing for and performing at MPA motivates student musicians to reach new levels of technical mastery on their instrument and, more importantly, deepen their understanding of what it truly means to be a contributing part of a musical ensemble. The Forestview band program has been performing at a very high level at MPA for the past several years, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our young musicians and their parents.
Students are selected to participate based on their playing test scores, their practice records, their attitude and effort in class, the instrumentation needs of the band, and their motivation to contribute to the band.
Once music for MPA has been distributed in class, students are expected to practice the material at home on a DAILY basis, even once the pieces become easy for them. consistency is extremely important in the MPA preparation process. Recordings of our MPA pieces are available on the Forestview High school website and students are encouraged to listen to them as part of their practice routine. Students will be tested on all three pieces on a regular basis between now and our MPA performance in March to insure that everyone is well prepared. Playing at MPA is an honor and a very big responsibility for student musicians
Typically, there is a need to schedule rehearsals OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL HOURS so that every student receives the support and coaching they need to adequately prepare together for this event. All student musicians must commit to attending the extra rehearsals as part of their commitment to participate in MPA. All students will receive a grade for these rehearsals.