• April 26, 2024

    Music ensembles earn Superior and Excellent ratings

    Orchestra studentsFour Upper St. Clair music ensembles earned top ratings during a Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) Music Performance Assessment on April 11, 2024, at Upper St. Clair High School.

    The high school’s Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, all earned Superior ratings, with the highest possible scores in every evaluation category. The Fort Couch Middle School Symphonic Winds earned an Excellent rating.

    Music Performance Assessments are conducted by a team of PMEA adjudicators who assess the overall performance and assign a score from 1-15 for each of five evaluation areas, including tone, intonation, accuracy, technique and interpretation. The scores for each of the five evaluation areas are added together to determine the total score, which is then converted to a final rating of Superior, Excellent, Good or Fair.  

    Dr. John Seybert, Upper St. Clair’s performing arts curriculum leader and director of high school bands, believes the PMEA Music Performance Assessment is important because it provides a clear and concise process for evaluating and improving the ensemble and individual students' musical abilities.

    “It helps us gauge their progress, identify areas for growth, and enhance instruction,” he said. “Additionally, assessments provide valuable feedback for students, parents, guardians, and educators, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and accountability within the instrumental music program.”

    The goals of PMEA Music Performance Assessment are to provide interscholastic, educationally valid assessment contexts; to foster musical achievement; to provide extrinsic recognition for the musical achievement of individuals and ensembles; to enable directors to select repertoire most appropriate for their soloists and ensembles from graded levels of music; and to provide students and directors the opportunity to hear performances by ensembles and soloists from other schools, when possible.