The Natchitoches Central High School Band has been busy with events for the Louisiana Music Educators Association (LMEA). LMEA is the governing body of statewide music events and teachers in public schools, which includes the All-State process, marching assessments, honor ensembles, solo and ensemble contests, and ensemble assessments. LMEA is divided into nine districts. Natchitoches is located within LMEA District II, which includes Avoyelles, Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides, Red River, Sabine, and Winn Parishes.
The NCHS band participated in the LMEA District II Solo and Ensemble Festival on Saturday, March 3rd at Alexandria Senior High School. Two soloists and four ensembles competed in this festival. Two of the ensembles received Superior ratings while the other two ensembles and soloists received Excellent ratings. “These students went above and beyond to work on these solos and small ensembles on their own time,” says Aleisa Hudlow, NCHS Band Director. “I did not require them to participate in this event this year, but they chose to go above and beyond to prepare and perform for this contest, which has benefited our band program as a whole with their elevated level of musicianship.”
On Tuesday, March 13, the NCHS Concert Band participated in the LMEA District II Large Ensemble Assessment. Large Ensemble Assessment is to music what testing is for academics: it uses other music educators to assess the achievement level of a music program in both prepared concert literature and sight reading skills. This was the first time in over a decade that the NCHS Concert Band has attended Large Ensemble Assessment, and the band earned Excellent ratings from all judges in both the concert and sight reading portions of the assessment. “I am so proud of all of the hard work that these students have put forth to achieve this level of performance,” says Hudlow. “It’s one thing to prepare for a concert, but it takes an additional level of focus, dedication, and musicality to be successful at Assessment. These students have earned this honor, and I am proud to serve as their director. I am also blessed with amazing support from my fellow NCHS faculty members, administration, and district.”
The NCHS Band Director is Aleisa Hudlow, and this is her first year at NCHS. She is in her eleventh year of teaching and has taught in Texas, at Northshore High School in Slidell, Pineville High School, and began the band program at Marthaville Junior High School last year. Mrs. Hudlow is also grateful for the support and additional instruction she has received from NCHS staff and NSU music student volunteers: Kesley Wright, Talent Instructor for Natchitoches Parish Schools; Andrew Benjamin, teacher at NCHS; and Lane Clevenger, Jake English, Blayne Fugere, Cameron Mayfield, and Addison Pellegrino, NSU music student volunteers.
Band Director: Aleisa Hudlow
Talented Music Instructor: Kelsey Wright
Additional Instructors: Andrew Benjamin (NCHS Teacher); Lane Clevenger, Jake English, Blayne, Fugier, Cameron Mayfield, Addison Pellegrino (NSU music students)