On April 28 the concert band from St. John Neumann School in Farragut performed at the Tennessee Music Education Association (TMEA) State Concert Festival at the George and Sharon Mabry Concert Hall on the campus of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville.
A total of 30 middle and high school programs from across the state performed at the event, which took place over a two-day period.
The SJNCS band became eligible to participate in the TMEA Concert Festival when it received a superior rating at the East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association (ETSBOA) Middle Area Concert Festival on March 9 at Farragut High School. The superior rating is the highest rating and honor a band can receive. The St. John Neumann band also received a superior rating for its required sight-reading (performing a piece of music not seen before) in front of another judge. Forty-seven middle and high school programs performed at the ETSBOA event.
Led by music director Jonathan Leichman, the St. John Neumann band performed three songs at the state festival: “His Honor” by Henry Fillmore (arranged by Andrew Balent), “Thoughts and Dreams” by Dwight Beckham Sr., and “Pinnacle” by Rob Grice.
Mr. Leichman has been the music director for St. John Neumann School and Church since 2010. He currently teaches grades K-8 general music as well as grades 5-8 band and choir at the school. Additionally, he is the choir director and music coordinator for music ministry at the church. He also works collaboratively with Jay Romines and the band program at Knoxville Catholic High School.
Mr. Leichman established the St. John Neumann concert band during the 2011-12 academic year. Under his direction the band program has grown from 18 to 41 students in this five-year period.
Under his leadership the concert band performed at the ETSBOA Middle Area Concert Festival for the past two years, marking the first time in history that a middle school band has ever represented the Diocese of Knoxville’s Catholic school system at such a prestigious event.
The St. John Neumann concert band performed for “comment only” last year but this year received a superior rating from all four judges. Mr. Leichman expressed his gratitude to Mr. Romines and the St. John Neumann administration for their support of the school band program. ■