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Connecting Cultures

Durfee Wins at MICCA Concert Festival


Caroline Aubin

Staff Reporter

April 15, 2014


On Saturday, April 5th, Durfee’s String Orchestra and Concert Band competed in the MICCA Concert Festival at Bellingham High School. Though it was the first year either group had performed at MICCA, they brought home silver and bronze medals.


The Massachusetts Instrumental & Choral Conductors Association, also known as MICCA, involve approximately 106 music groups at various locations over the weekend. Each group performed three pieces which were judged and scored on a scale from one to five. Groups are not pitted against each other, but against themselves.

A participation award is given to those with either scores of one to two, or who are disqualified, and a bronze medal is presented to those with a score of three. A silver medal is awarded to performances who scored a four, and a gold medal is given to those who scored a five. After the groups performed, they participated in a clinic with a judge who gave them pointers on what to improve. The day concluded with an award ceremony.


Durfee String Orchestra, conducted by  director Michael Coelho, was the first performance of the day. Bright-eyed and nervous, the Orchestra took the stage at eight in the morning to perform before the judges panel. Their music selection scored well with the judges; the passionate piece Andante Festivo was scored as a gold-winning number. At the end of the day, the String Orchestra was given a silver medal for excellence.


The judges were not the only ones impressed with the Orchestra’s performance. Senior violinist David Aguiar felt proud for winning a silver medal. “The orchestra had worked vigorously on all of our selected pieces  and to be awarded silver by music experts and professionals is extremely honorable”, Aguiar said. 

Durfee Concert Band was the second performance of the morning, taking the stage at eight thirty. Band Director Matthew MacMullen led the Band in their performance of upbeat marches and grandiose pieces such as Persis that impressed the judges. The Concert Band’s spirit and drive won them a bronze medal at the Award Ceremony.  

Band members are optimistic about their performance at the competition. Junior trumpeter Kurtis Amaral had praise for the Concert Band. “I felt overall it was one of our best performances as an ensemble”, Amaral stated.

The awards did not come easy to the Orchestra and Band. Both groups spent weeks rehearsing during class and after school to perfect their pieces. After-school rehearsals were crucial, as they were the only time the freshmen players were with the upperclassmen. Regardless of the separation, the String Orchestra and Concert Band came together to highlight the talent and dedication that Durfee Music students have.