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Righetti High School Band Earns ‘Superior Rating’ at Music in the Parks Festival

Members of the Righetti High School band celebrate earning a “Superior Rating” at the Music in the Parks Festival during the awards ceremony held at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree inside Disneyland.
Members of the Righetti High School band celebrate earning a “Superior Rating” at the Music in the Parks Festival during the awards ceremony held at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree inside Disneyland. (Santa Maria Joint Union High School District photo)

The Righetti High School band recently earned a “Superior Rating” at the Music in the Parks Festival in Southern California.

The Warrior musicians tuned in the crowd and judges with selections including “Songs of Scotland” by Mark Williams and “Quintus” by Larry Clark at the Placentia Presbyterian Church. The awards ceremony took place at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree inside Disneyland.

Band Director Nick Burdick said the students found the judging experience “exciting and engaging.”

“When we walked off the stage, we knew we had a great performance, but we also knew that we are a small band, and it’s difficult for small bands to get to the 'Superior' level,’’ Burdick said. “When they announced it at the awards ceremony, I wasn’t expecting it, but I knew the kids deserved it because they have worked so hard this year.’’

Junior Trulia Calderon described the atmosphere as “enjoyable and educational."

“It gave us insights into what professional quality music is like," Calderon said. “It felt good to know our work ethic is paying off.’’

Burdick said the festival also provided a positive learning experience.

“It was a chance to get feedback from trained judges," Burdick said. “These are college band directors and professional musicians who really know what to listen for. When they told that we’re doing a great job, the kids know it’s real. And they always give us something we can improve at."

Twelve ensembles including orchestras and choirs from eight schools participated. Righetti earned first place in the band category.

— Kenny Klein is a public information officer for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

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