The California Music Educators Association (CMEA) adjudicated the various Palo Alto High School choirs at Palo Alto High School the week of May 8.

CMEA is a music festival that  students in California schools can participate in. Students can opt to be in the program, or have their school take part in the program.

“CMEAs give us a chance [to] showcase our songs and receive feedback on how to become a better choir.”

senior choir member Joao Gabriel de Piña

The students who desire to participate in this program choose three songs for their repertoire.

Throughout the week of May 8, CMEA came to Paly to judge the students who wanted to participate in the program. The Spectrum, Madrigals and concert choirs performed songs from the spring concert in front of the adjudicators.

All CMEA adjudicators have previous experience in music education, making them more qualified for judging. Three adjudicators score the performance of the school on a multitude of criteria. The criteria they are graded on include the following: tone quality, blend and balance, rhythm, precision, facility, articulation, direction, interpretation, style, phrasing, expression, sensitivity, dynamics, choice of music, stage presence and effects of presentation.

The performance is scored as fair, good, excellent or superior. The Paly choir received an unanimous score of superior by the adjudicators.

After the performances of the different songs, there is a sight reading portion. In this section of the adjudication, the students are given one minute to review the rhythm that is given to them. Then, the students must perform the rhythm with clapping or speaking different words that symbolize the given note. The first performance is a practice so teachers can analyze and instruct the students on what to fix. The students are then asked to perform again and are judged on that performance.

Finally, the students are given a score to sing, either a solfege or a vowel. They are again given a minute to review, allotted a practice performance with feedback from teachers and then have to perform for a second time to be adjudicated.

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