• 45°

NSA wins band award

The concert and marching band at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy proved they can play with the best of bands.

During their April 17 trip to the Festivals of Music in Chicago, the concert band and marching band each won first place for their category and won the Espirit de Corps Award.

“I am immensely proud of the students,” band Director Carrie Swatsworth-Estes said. “They’ve worked very hard. We always have a great band, but this is the best we’ve had yet. They have done a fabulous job.”

The festival has been held at several locations across the United States since 1982. Their aim is to not only provide a competition for students but to provide an educational experience. Following their performance, students participate in a clinic with a master teacher and leadership workshop opportunities are available, as well.

The Festivals of Music Esprit de Corps Award offers the opportunity to recognize participating organizations, which display a positive support and outstanding personal behavior.

Unlike other trophies that focus on musical achievement based on the scores of a panel, the prize spotlights the performance of the students throughout the festival weekend as they demonstrate responsible behavior. Personal integrity, quality character values, a desire for excellence and a spirit of cooperation serve as the cornerstone qualities of the Esprit de Corps Award.

“It’s an honor to receive the award,” Swatsworth-Estes said. “It judges the students on how they treat people, camaraderie, their respect and enthusiasm. It speaks to their character.”