HUNTINGTON STATE BAND FESTIVAL DIVIDES INTO FOUR AREA FESTIVALS (1957)NOTES DA CAPO - John L. Puffenbarger
(Note: Prior to 1957 twelve or more region bandfestivals sent selected repre- sentatives to the state band festival in Huntington. The following is an outline of the guidelines which were developed to organize the state into four area festivals, held at Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bluefield, and Huntington).
Since the formation of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission in April 1955, officers of the Commission had met several times with representatives of the West Virginia Bandmasters Association and other affiliated groups to formulate a program of activities and work for achieving the objectives of the Commission.
Consequently, the Bandmasters Association submitted a program of band festivals for consideration at the annual meet- ing of the Commission. The bylaws directed the Commission's Board of Appeals "to divide the state into sections and regions for the purpose of band festivals ... and to determine the time, place, and management of festivals." While subsequently working on specific details, an outline for four areas (regions) and twelve regions (sections) was printed and distributed, including a fee schedule to make them self-sustaining; it included a plan of adjudication by recognized band authorities.
The Board of Appeals accepted the following recommendations: (a) that regional festivals be permitted at the option of the member schools in that region; (b) ad- judicators will be selected by representatives of the local participating units; (c) the Commission will not require a fee for region festivals because the Commission will not incur any expense. Therefore, the plans for regions followed the same arrangement as in previous years.
In the ten regions under the supervision of deputy and assistant deputy board mem- bers, member schools met to formulate plans for twelve band festivals. This group established the fee, selected the adjudicators, and conducted a one-day festival within the bylaws printed in the handbook of the Commission. Festival dates were optional provided they were held on or prior to 27 April 1957. Participation in region festivals was limited to approximately the same boundaries as in former years.
Many schools participated the year before (1956) in classes different from those designated by enrollment. Following a precedent established in other activities, entrants were permitted to elect to participate in the music selections for the next higher class. The fact that participation actually rested on the music selected by the state committee for class A, B, or C provided no conflict if the director believed his band could play the more difficult selections. The process of adjudication furnished the "yardstick" in measuring such qualification.
(If you have items of interest concerning the history of music education in West Virginia, please contact John L. Puffenbarger, WVMEA Historian, 46 Rohr Avenue, P.O. Box 6, Buckhannon, WV 26201).