Written by Taylor Bates
LGPE stands for Large Group Performance Evaluation. It is an evaluation of Lee’s concert bands. (“Small Group” would be Solo and Ensemble Festival, where small groups play for a judge.)
The event is held at Cairo High School across three days (March 9, 10, and 11). LCHS Symphonic Band performs on Wednesday, March 9. The Wind Ensemble performs on Thursday, March 10.
At the event, each band is given approximately 30 minutes in a room to warm-up, tune, and get ready for the performance. The group then moves to the stage, where they perform three selections for a panel of three judges and an audience.
The judges rate the band based on balance, blend, intonation, technique, and interpretation/artistry. Each judge gives a rating of Superior (I), Excellent (II), Good (III), Fair (IV), or Poor (V). Superior is the best. The very best would be to earn a superior from all three judges; that is called “straight superiors”.
Each band plays a march followed by two other selections. The two other selections are chosen from the GMEA-approved music list and are graded by difficulty. Level 1 music is very easy; Level 6 music is the most difficult. The Trojan’s Symphonic Band is playing two Level 3 selections. Lee’s Wind Ensemble is playing two Level 5 selections.
After the stage performance, the band is not done. They file off the stage and into another room, where the band is given a piece of music they have never seen before. The judge gives them 6 minutes to go over the piece, but they are not allowed to play their instruments.
At the end of the 6 minutes, we start, and we have to perform the piece for the judge. This is called “sightreading.” The sight reading judge also gives a rating from superior to poor. A true straight superior rating includes three superiors from on stage, plus a Superior in sight reading.